The interaction between biological and environmental factors (especially adverse childhood experiences, ACEs) plays a crucial role in the development and maintenance of borderline personality disorder (BPD). These factors act influencing BPD core features such as pervasive instability in affect regulation, impulse control, social cognition, and interpersonal relationships. In line with this perspective, abnormalities in social cognition and related neurobiological underpinnings could mediate the relationship between ACEs and psychopathological manifestations in adulthood. In a sample of 14 females, functional connectivity (FC) analyses were performed modeling the interaction between ACEs and corticolimbic dysregulation during emotional processing and its relationship with BPD symptom severity. ACEs were associated with a dampening of the negative FC between (1) the right amygdala (Amy) and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and between (2) the left Amy and bilateral DLPFC, right precuneus, left cerebellum and left dorsomedial prefrontal cortex during emotional processing. The connectivity between right Amy and DLPFC mediates the relationship between childhood adversities and BPD symptomatology. Furthermore, the negative FC between Amy and DLPFC, postcentral gyrus, the vermis of cerebellum and precuneus was also associated with BPD symptom severity, with a weaker negative coupling between Amy and these regions being related to a worse BPD psychopathology. Our results confirm the role of ACEs in contributing to social cognition impairments in BPD and related symptomatology from a neurobiological perspective. © 2018 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Vai, B., Sforzini, L., Visintini, R., Riberto, M., Bulgarelli, C., Ghiglino, D., Melloni, E. M. T., Bollettini, I., Poletti, S., Maffei, C., & Benedetti, F. (2018). Corticolimbic connectivity mediates the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and symptom severity in borderline personality disorder. Neuropsychobiology, 76(2), 105-115. https://doi.org/10.1159/000487961