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Article Dans Une Revue Santé mentale au Québec Année : 2016

Functional Neuroimaging Pilot Study of Borderline Personality Disorder in Adolescents


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is being increasingly recognized by clinicians working with adolescents, and the reliability and validity of the diagnosis have been established in the adolescent population. Adolescence is known to be a period of high risk for BPD development as most patients identify the onset of their symptoms to be in the adolescent period. As with other mental health disorders, personality disorder, are thought to result from the interaction between biological and environmental factors. Functional neuroimaging studies are reporting an increasing amount of data on abnormal neuronal functions in BPD adult patients. However, no functional neuroimaging studies have been conducted in adolescents with BPD. Objectives This pilot project aims to evaluate the feasibility of a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study coupled with clinical and psychological measures in adolescent girls with a diagnosis of BPD. It also aims to identify neuronal regions of interest (ROI) for the study of BPD in adolescent girls. Method Six female adolescents meeting DSM-IV criteria for BPD and 6 female adolescents without psychiatric disorder were recruited. Both groups were evaluated for BPD symptoms, depressive symptoms, impulsivity, affective lability, and other potential psychiatric comorbidities. We used fMRI to compare patterns of regional brain activation between these two groups as they viewed 20 positive, 20 negative and 20 neutral emotion-inducing pictures, which were presented in random order. Results Participants were recruited over a period of 22 months. The protocol was well tolerated by participants. Mean age of the BPD group and control group was 15.8 +/- 0.9 years-old and 15.5 +/- 1.2 years-old respectively. Psychiatric comorbidity and use of medication was common among participants in the BPD group. This group showed higher impulsivity and affective lability scores. For the fMRI task, BPD patients demonstrated greater differences in activation than controls, when viewing negative pictures compared with neutral pictures, in limbic regions (amygdala and right hippocampus and parahippocampal areas) as well as in the superior frontal gyrus, right precentral gyrus and cerebellum, while control group showed greater activation in left precentral gyrus and right orbitofrontal area. Viewing positive pictures compared with neutral pictures led to increased activation of the left hippocampus and both parahippocampal regions, as well as middle cingulate cortex, superior temporal gyrus and cerebellum in the BPD group. In the control group, positive-scene viewing led to increased activity in the left superior parietal gyrus and right middle/superior temporal gyrus. Conclusion Limbic regions and areas from the prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortex are potential ROI for the study of the neurophysiology of BPD in female adolescents. The larger studies are needed to better understand the neural features found in these young patients.

Dates et versions

hal-03604182 , version 1 (10-03-2022)



Amelie Leboeuf, Jean-Marc Guile, Real Labelle, David Luck. Functional Neuroimaging Pilot Study of Borderline Personality Disorder in Adolescents. Santé mentale au Québec, 2016, 41 (1), pp.141-162. ⟨10.7202/1036969ar⟩. ⟨hal-03604182⟩
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