The neuropsychology of borderline personality disorder: relationship with clinical dimensions and comparison with other personality disorders

Imola Seres, Zsolt Unoka, Nikoletta Bódi, Nikoletta Aspán, Szabolcs Kéri
Journal of Personality Disorders 2009, 23 (6): 555-62
Patients with borderline personality disorder show various neuropsychological dysfunctions. However, the exact pattern of this dysfunction and its severity in comparison with other personality disorders are not known. The purpose of this study was to compare the neuropsychological performance of borderline patients (n = 50) with that of patients with other personality disorders (n = 30) and healthy controls (n = 30) using the Repeatable Brief Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) test battery. Borderline patients showed deficient attention, immediate and delayed memory, and relatively spared visuospatial and language functions compared with controls (effect size range: 0.34-0.99). The neuropsychological deficit was less pronounced in patients with other personality disorders compared with controls (effect size range: 0.18-0.66). However, there was no statistically significant difference between patients with borderline and other personality disorders. The neuropsychological deficit significantly correlated with the impulsivity sector score of the Zanarini Rating Scale for Borderline Personality Disorder (ZAN-BPD). These results suggest that borderline patients are impaired in neuropsychological domains sensitive for frontal and temporal lobe functioning, and this deficit is related to impulsivity.


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