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J Pers Disord. 2003 Dec;17(6):497-509.

Frontal lobe dysfunctions in borderline personality disorder? Neuropsychological findings.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Aachen University (RWTH), Germany.


This study aims to determine whether specific neuropsychological performance impairments in borderline patients can be objectified and whether these findings indicate frontal dysfunctions. Twenty-three patients with borderline personality disorder and 23 normal controls were examined using a neuropsychological test battery to assess intelligence, attentiveness, proneness to interference, learning and memory, as well as planning and problem solving. All subjects filled out standardized questionnaires to assess aggressiveness and impulsiveness in the context of these cognitive performance areas. The neuropsychological test results of the borderline patients were comparable to those of the controls. Although there were no indications of frontal dysfunction of cognitive information processing, inverse correlations were found between the severity of borderline-related personality traits regarding impulsiveness and various areas of cognitive performance. Borderline personality patients show no indications of frontal cognitive dysfunction. Further research is needed to clarify the relationship between impulsiveness and cognitive information processing in borderline personality disorder, including a dimensional approach to personality and personality disorder.

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