Laboratory measures of aggression and impulsivity in women with Borderline Personality Disorder

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Harris County Psychiatric Center, University of Texas, Houston 77030, USA.
Psychiatry Research (Impact Factor: 2.47). 04/1999; 85(3):315-26. DOI: 10.1016/S0165-1781(99)00011-6
Source: PubMed


To characterize how severe negative affect in women is reflected in objective measures of aggression and impulsivity, the aggressive and impulsive behavior of 14 hospitalized women with borderline personality disorder (BPD) was compared with that of 17 controls. In an impulsivity task, subjects experienced two sets of 50 trials during which they could choose a smaller, immediate monetary reward or a larger but progressively delayed reward. In a separate task (PSAP), subjects earned monetary reinforcers with repeated button presses, and were provoked by the subtraction of money which was blamed on a fictitious other participant. Subjects could respond by ostensibly subtracting money from the fictitious subject (the aggressive response). While selection frequency of the short-delay responses was similar in patients and controls, BPD patients responded to avoid longer delay of reward across trials, and had higher Barratt Impulsiveness Scale total scores and attentional subscale scores. BPD patients responded to the money losses with roughly three times as many aggressive responses as controls and had higher Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory (BDHI), Brown History of Violence, and Retrospective Overt Aggression Scale scores than controls. Aggressive responding rates correlated positively with BDHI scores. These results extend previous findings that negative affect in women is reflected in laboratory behavioral measures.


Available from: James Bjork, Feb 20, 2015
    • "Moreover, disrupted impulse control has been observed in psychiatric disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (Epstein et al., 2003, 2006), antisocial or borderline personality disorders (Dougherty et al., 1999; Swann et al., 2009a), and bipolar disorder (Swann et al., 2003, 2009b). Thus, elucidating the neural basis of impulse control would be an important contribution to modern society. "
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    ABSTRACT: Poor impulse control is a debilitating condition observed in various psychiatric disorders and could be a risk factor for drug addiction, criminal involvement, and suicide. The rat infralimbic cortex (IL), located in the ventral portion of the medial prefrontal cortex, has been implicated in impulse control. To elucidate the neurophysiological basis of impulse control, we recorded single unit activity in the IL of a rat performing a 3-choiceserial reaction time task (3-CSRTT) and 2-choice task (2-CT), which are animal models for impulsivity. The inactivation of IL neuronal activity with an injection of muscimol (0.1μg /side) disrupted impulse control in the 3-CSRTT. More than 60% (38/56) of isolated IL units were linked to impulse control, while approximately 30% of all units were linked to attentional function in the 3-CSRTT. To avoid confounding motor-related units with the impulse control-related units, we further conducted the 2-CT in which the animals' motor activities were restricted during recording window. More than 30% (14/44) of recorded IL units were linked to impulse control in the 2-CT. Several types of impulse control-related units were identified. Only 16% of all units were compatible with the results of the muscimol experiment, which showed a transient decline in the firing rate immediately before the release of behavioral inhibition. This is the first study to elucidate the neurophysiological basis of impulse control in the IL and to propose that IL neurons control impulsive actions in a more complex manner than previously considered.
    Behavioural brain research 09/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.bbr.2015.08.025 · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    • "Studies that relied on self-reports consistently demonstrated higher levels of impulsivity in BPD patients compared with healthy controls (HCs) and patients with other psychiatric disorders (Dougherty et al. 1999; Henry et al. 2001; Berlin et al. 2005; Bornovalova et al. 2005; McCloskey et al. 2009; Jacob et al. 2010; Lynam et al. 2011; Sebastian et al. 2013a). Studies that applied laboratory tasks in part revealed impaired response inhibition (Leyton et al. 2001; Hochhausen et al. 2002; Rentrop et al. 2008), difficulties in feedback-directed decision making (Haaland & Landrø, 2007; Kirkpatrick et al. 2007; Maurex et al. 2009; Schuermann et al. 2011; Svaldi et al. 2012; Mak & Lam, 2013), a stronger tendency to discount delayed reward (Dougherty et al. 1999; Lawrence et al. 2010) and more impulsive aggression * Address for correspondence: S. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Previous research on impulsivity in borderline personality disorder (BPD) has revealed inconsistent findings. Impulsive behaviour is often observed during states of emotional distress and might be exaggerated by current attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in individuals with BPD. We aimed to investigate different components of impulsivity dependent on stress induction controlling for self-reported ADHD symptoms in BPD. METHOD. A total of 31 unmedicated women with BPD and 30 healthy women (healthy controls; HCs), matched for age, education and intelligence, completed self-reports and behavioural tasks measuring response inhibition (go/stop task) and feedback-driven decision making (Iowa Gambling Task) under resting conditions and after experimental stress induction. ADHD symptoms were included as a covariate in the analyses of behavioural impulsivity. Additionally, self-reported emotion-regulation capacities were assessed. Results: BPD patients reported higher impulsive traits than HCs. During stress conditions - compared with resting conditions - self-reported impulsivity was elevated in both groups. Patients with BPD reported higher state impulsivity under both conditions and a significantly stronger stress-dependent increase in state impulsivity. On the behavioural level, BPD patients showed significantly impaired performance on the go/stop task under stress conditions, even when considering ADHD symptoms as a covariate, but not under resting conditions. No group differences on the Iowa Gambling Task were observed. Correlations between impulsivity measures and emotion-regulation capacities were observed in BPD patients. Conclusions: Findings suggest a significant impact of stress on self-perceived state impulsivity and on response disinhibition (even when considering current ADHD symptoms) in females with BPD.
    Psychological Medicine 02/2014; 44(15). DOI:10.1017/S0033291714000427 · 5.94 Impact Factor
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    • "Because previous studies indicated that BPD was correlated with behavioral problems and antisocial behavior (Frankenburg & Zanarini, 2004; Dougherty et al, 1999), we assessed conduct disorder (CD; childhood criteria for antisocial personality disorder) and antisocial personality disorder. Additionally, we administered two scales measuring trait-impulsivity, the UPPS "
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    ABSTRACT: Although large epidemiological data sets can inform research on the etiology and development of borderline personality disorder (BPD), they rarely include BPD measures. In some cases, however, proxy measures can be constructed using instruments already in these data sets. In this study, the authors developed and validated a self-report measure of BPD from the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ). Items for the new instrument-the Minnesota BPD scale (MBPD) -were identified and refined using three large samples: undergraduates, community adolescent twins, and urban substance users. The authors determined the construct validity of the MBPD scale by examining its association with (a) diagnosed BPD, (b) questionnaire-reported BPD symptoms, and (c) clinical variables associated with BPD: suicidality, trauma, disinhibition, internalizing distress, and substance use. The authors also tested the MBPD scale in two prison inmate samples. Across samples, the MBPD scores correlated with BPD indices and external criteria and showed incremental validity above measures of negative affect, thus supporting its construct validity as a measure of BPD.
    Assessment 04/2011; 18(2):234-52. DOI:10.1177/1073191111398320 · 3.29 Impact Factor
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