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Riv Psichiatr. 2009 Nov-Dec;44(6):374-83.

[Neurocognitive functioning in borderline personality disorder].

[Article in Italian]

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  • 1UOC Neurologia, Ospedale Versilia, Lido Di Camaiore (LU) Accademia di Neuropsicologia dello Sviluppo (PR).


Neurocognitive dysfunctions in subjects with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD) have been often reported in several recent studies, reviewed in this paper. Most marked impairments are reported for executive functions, autobiographical memory and social cognition processes. These impairments may be considered as neurocognitive correlates of some clinical symptoms of BPD: the dysexecutive impairment, particularly of those processes based on the orbitofrontal cortex, is the correlate of the increased impulsivity; the interference of negative emotions on encoding and retrieval of autobiographical memories is the correlate of the frequent dissociative symptoms; difficulties in social cognition processes (for example in emotion recognition) are the correlate of the instable interpersonal relationships. Early cognitive impairments are also detected in children and adolescents with borderline clinical symptoms, suggesting that neurocognitive functioning: (1) might be considered an indirect index of the neurobiological impact of the childhood trauma that usually BPD subjects report; (2) might be a moderator in the development of BPD. Reviewed studies suggest the utility of a neuropsychological evaluation in all those subjects, children, adolescents and adults, that present borderline clinical symptoms.

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