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Mental health patients whose disorder characteristics fell in the middle ground between neurotic and psychotic disorders have been labeled with “borderline personality disorder.”
Researchers have been focusing on the heightened emotional reactivity in patients with borderline personality disorder, as well as the high percentage of these patients who meet the diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder and mood disorders, in an effort to more clearly define the condition.
Research published in Biological Psychiatry by Dr. Anthony Ruocco from the University of Toronto outlines more clearly than ever the patterns of brain activity which may underlie the intense and unstable emotional experiences associated with borderline personality disorder.
The report explores two critical brain underpinnings of emotional dysregulation in the disorder: heightened activity in brain circuits involved in the experience of negative emotions, and reduced activation of brain circuits that normally suppress negative emotion once it’s been created.
“We found compelling evidence pointing to two interconnected neural systems which may subserve symptoms of emotion dysregulation in this disorder; the first, centered in specific limbic structures, which may reflect a heightened subjective perception of the intensity of negative motions, and the second, comprised primarily of frontal brain regions, which may be inadequately recruited to appropriately regulate emotions,” explained Ruocco.
Basically, these people are creating too much anger and then are unable to suppress it. Now that this unique brain activity has been identified, it could serve to differentiate borderline personality disorder from other related conditions.
“This new report adds to the impression that people with borderline personality disorder are ‘set-up’ by their brains to have stormy emotional lives, although not necessarily unhappy or unproductive lives,” stated Dr. John Krystal, editor of Biological Psychiatry.
Source: MedicalNewsToday, Biological Psychiatry
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