Anterior cingulate volume reduction in adolescents with borderline personality disorder and co-morbid major depression

Marianne Goodman, Erin A Hazlett, Jennifer B Avedon, Daniel R Siever, King-Wai Chu, Antonia S New
Journal of Psychiatric Research 2011, 45 (6): 803-7
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a serious illness characterized by emotional dysregulation, impulsivity, and impaired interpersonal relationships. Prior work shows the anterior cingulate gyrus (ACG)-a region primarily involved in assessing the salience of emotional information and regulating emotional responses--is smaller in adults with BPD. We tested the hypothesis that, similar to adults, adolescents with BPD would have reduced Brodmann area (BA)-24 volume. Thirteen adolescent inpatients with co-morbid BPD and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and 13 matched healthy controls received 3T-MRI scans. Using a cytoarchitecturally-derived approach measuring gray and white matter volume, we observed a Group × Cingulate BA (25,24,31,23,29) × Matter (gray, white) type interaction indicating the BPD/MDD adolescents had smaller BA24 volume in gray but not white matter. Greater number of suicide attempts and BPD symptom severity measured by the Diagnostic Interview for BPD-revised (DIB-R) total score but not depressive symptoms measured by the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was associated with smaller BA24 volume. Our preliminary findings suggest that BPD-related abnormalities in BA24 volume may occur early in the developmental course of BPD with MDD. Future studies examining samples of MDD patients with and without BPD co-morbidity will be needed to clarify whether BA24 volume reductions are specific to BPD.

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