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J Psychiatr Res. 2003 Mar-Apr;37(2):109-15.

Positron emission tomography in female patients with borderline personality disorder.

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Department of Nuclear Medicine, PET group, University of Freiburg Medical School, Hugstetterstr. 55, D-79106, Freiburg, Germany.


The pathology of Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is poorly understood and its biological basis remains largely unknown. One functional brain imaging study using [(18)F]Deoxyglucose-PET previously reported frontal and prefrontal hypometabolism. We studied brain metabolism at baseline in 12 medication-free female patients with BPD without current substance abuse or depression and 12 healthy female controls by [(18)F]Deoxyglucose-PET and statistical parametric mapping. We found significant frontal and prefrontal hypermetabolism in patients with BPD relative to controls as well as significant hypometabolism in the hippocampus and cuneus. This study demonstrated limbic and prefrontal dysfunction under resting conditions in patients with BPD by FDG-PET. Dysfunction in this network of brain regions, which has been implicated in the regulation of emotion, may underlie symptoms of BPD.

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