Brain Function in Borderline Personality Disorder

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The cause of Borderline Personality Disorder has challenged researchers and clinicians for years. The hallmarks of Borderline Personality Disorder: a characteristic negative affective state; high reactivity and diminished ability to self-regulate emotion in previous neuropsychological studies have been attributed to orbitofrontal dysfunction. A study by Silbersweig et al published in the American Journal of Psychiatry 2007 December; 164: 1832  involving 16 individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder  and 14 control subjects showed less activation of the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex and the posterior medial orbitofrontal cortex than the controls did and more activity in the left and right extended amygdala and ventral striatum. This study is important in helping  individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder with more specific pharmacological interventions and in using more targeted approaches to help individuals learn to self-regulate their behavior.

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