The disorder affects between 1 and 6% of the population. People with Borderline Personality Disorder experience very stormy emotions, commit self-destructive acts and are sometimes aggressive.
Often considered the most severe personality disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder is linked to a long history of instability in personal relationships. The personality disorder causes very strong mood swings as a result of brain abnormalities in two key regions, according to a host of neuroscience studies.
Dr Lars Schulze, the study’s first author, said:
“Our results highlight brain abnormalities in the amygdala and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The amygdala is known to process emotional arousal and is hyperactive in BPD. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which has a key role in the regulation of emotions, is less active during the processing of negative emotional stimuli in BPD.”
The researchers pooled the results of 19 different studies including hundreds of people, to compare those with the personality disorder to health controls.
Professor John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry, explained the brain abnormalities they found:
“In order to understand these findings, it might be useful to imagine that the brain was a like a car. The gas pedal for emotion might be the amygdala and the emotional brake might be the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The current findings seem to suggest that, in borderline personality disorder, the brain steps on the gas yet does not as effectively brake emotion.”
The study was published in the journal Biological Psychiatry (Schulze et al., 2016).
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