Neural responses to emotional stimuli in comorbid borderline personality disorder and bipolar depression

Daniele Radaelli, Sara Poletti, Sara Dallaspezia, Cristina Colombo, Enrico Smeraldi, Francesco Benedetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a severe clinical condition characterised by different maladaptive traits such as impulsivity and affective lability. Mood and emotion dysregulation are core features of affective disorders. Indeed patients affected by mood disorder (MD) have a significantly higher prevalence of comorbid BPD, resulting in more unstable mood and poorer response to medication. Blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging has been used to investigate the neural correlates of emotional face processing. Images for each subject were entered into an analysis of variance (ANOVA) dividing participants into three groups (MD, MD. +. BPD, Controls). MD. +. BPD patients show lower activations in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and higher activations in the cingulate cortex and hippocampus. The present study identifies the neural basis of the interaction between BPD and MD. The lower rate of response to treatment in MD. +. BPD could be related to a more severe emotional dysregulation syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-66
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 30 2012


  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Depression
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)

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