Amygdala Volume and Depressive Symptoms in Patients With Borderline Personality Disorder
ABSTRACT Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by a high prevalence of comorbid psychiatric disorders, including major depression (MD). The aim of this study was to examine whether a co-occurrence of MD is associated with structural changes in the amygdala of BPD patients.
Twenty-five right-handed, female patients with BPD and 25 matched healthy control subjects were examined. Diagnoses of BPD and MD were made according to DSM IV. Depressive symptomatology was determined with the Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD). Magnetic resonance imaging scans were performed with 1.5 T Magnetom Vision (Siemens, Erlangen, Germany). The software program "BRAINS" was applied for brain volumetry and segmentation. The amygdala was delineated as "region of interest."
Comparison of amygdala volumes between the whole group of BPD patients and control subjects revealed no significant difference. Amygdala volumes in both hemispheres were significantly larger in BPD patients with MD compared with those without MD. There was a significant correlation in BPD patients between left amygdala volume and depressive symptoms as measured by HAMD.
Correlation of amygdala volume with depression in BPD patients might indicate a causal relationship. Future studies should clarify whether amygdala enlargement is a risk factor for MD in BPD patients or a consequence of the affective disorder.
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ABSTRACT: Alterations of the central serotonergic system are considered to be involved in the pathophysiology of borderline personality disorder (BPD). The loudness dependence of the N1/P2 component of auditory evoked potentials (LD) has been shown to indirectly reflect central serotonergic activity. The aim of this study was to investigate LD in patients with BPD compared to healthy controls, and to evaluate the association between LD and psychopathology such as anxiety, anger or impulsiveness. Female patients with BPD were included and compared to age and sex matched healthy subjects. Self-rating instruments, such as State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI), and the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS) were used to assess clinical scores of anxiety, anger, and impulsiveness. Evoked potentials were recorded following the application of acoustic stimuli with increasing intensities; the LD was analysed using dipole source analysis. The mean LD was significantly higher in patients with BPD compared to controls. In the entire sample there were significant positive correlations of LD with state anxiety scores and STAXI subscores. The data contribute to the knowledge of neurophysiological alterations in patients with BPD, supporting the hypothesis of serotonergic dysregulation in the pathophysiology of the disorder. The significant clinical correlations suggest monoaminergic modulations of psychopathology on the symptom level.Psychiatry Research 04/2012; 199(3). DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2012.03.051 · 2.68 Impact Factor
- Neuroimaging: Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, Edited by P Bright, 01/2012; InTech.
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ABSTRACT: Research employing aversive conditioning paradigms has elucidated the neurocircuitry involved in acquiring and diminishing fear responses. However, the factors underlying individual differences in fear acquisition and inhibition are not presently well understood. In this study, we explored whether the magnitude of individuals' acquired fear responses and the modulation of these responses via 2 fear reduction methods were correlated with structural differences in brain regions involved in affective processing. Physiological and structural magnetic resonance imaging data were obtained from experiments exploring extinction retention and intentional cognitive regulation. Our results identified 2 regions in which individual variation in brain structure correlated with subjects' fear-related arousal. Confirming previous results, increased thickness in ventromedial prefrontal cortex was correlated with the degree of extinction retention. Additionally, subjects with greater thickness in the posterior insula exhibited larger conditioned responses during acquisition. The data suggest a trend toward a negative correlation between amygdala volume and fear acquisition magnitude. There was no significant correlation between fear reduction via cognitive regulation and thickness in our prefrontal regions of interest. Acquisition and regulation measures were uncorrelated, suggesting that while certain individuals may have a propensity toward increased expression of conditioned fear, these responses can be diminished via both extinction and cognitive regulation.Cerebral Cortex 08/2011; 21(9):1954-62. DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhq253 · 8.31 Impact Factor