Article

Positron Emission Tomography of Regional Brain Metabolic Responses to a Serotonergic Challenge in Major Depressive Disorder with and without Borderline Personality Disorder

Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, NY, USA.
Neuropsychopharmacology (Impact Factor: 7.83). 07/2005; 30(6):1163-72. DOI: 10.1038/sj.npp.1300689
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Previous neuroimaging studies of major depression have not controlled for the presence of personality disorders characterized by impulsive aggressive behavior, such as borderline personality disorder (BPD). Using positron emission tomography (PET), we studied regional glucose uptake in response to fenfluramine (FEN) in depressed subjects with BPD (n=11) and depressed patients without Cluster B Axis II disorders (n=8). Subjects were scanned while medication-free after a single blind placebo administration and after FEN on a second day. Brain responses were measured by PET imaging of [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) and serial prolactin levels. Scans were compared at a voxel level using statistical parametric mapping. Correlations of changes in relative regional cerebral uptake (rCMRglu) with clinical measures were assessed. Depressed borderline patients had greater relative activity in parietotemporal cortical regions (BA 40, BA 22, and BA 42) before and after FEN activation compared to those without BPD. They also had less relative uptake in the anterior cingulate cortex (BA 32) at baseline compared to depressed patients without BPD and FEN abolished this difference. Impulsivity was positively correlated with rCMRglu in superior and middle frontal cortex (BA 6 and 44). Hostility was positively correlated with rCMRglu in temporal cortical regions (BA 21 and 22). In conclusions, borderline pathology in the context of a Major Depressive Disorder is associated with altered activity in parietotemporal and anterior cingulate cortical regions. Controlling for the presence of BPD in future imaging studies of mood disorders may elucidate similarities and differences in regional serotonergic function in these two often comorbid disorders.

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