Brain structure and symptom dimensions in borderline personality disorder.
BACKGROUND.: Borderline personality disorder (BPD) presents with symptoms across different domains, whose neurobiology is poorly understood. METHODS.: We applied voxel-based morphometry on high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging scans of 19 female BPD patients and 50 matched female controls. RESULTS.: Group comparison showed bilateral orbitofrontal gray matter loss in patients, but no significant changes in the hippocampus. Voxel-wise correlation of gray matter with symptom severity scores from the Borderline Symptom List (BSL-95) showed overall negative correlation in bilateral prefrontal, right inferior temporal/fusiform and occipital cortices, and left thalamus. Significant (negative) correlations with BSL-95 subscores within the patient cohort linked autoaggression to left lateral prefrontal and insular cortices, right inferior temporal/temporal pole, and right orbital cortex; dysthymia/dysphoria to right orbitofrontal cortex; self-perception to left postcentral, bilateral inferior/middle temporal, right orbitofrontal, and occipital cortices. Schema therapy-based Young Schema Questionnaire (YSQ-S2) scores of early maladaptive schemas on emotional deprivation were linked to left medial temporal lobe gray matter reductions. CONCLUSIONS.: Our results confirm orbitofrontal structural deficits in BPD, while providing a framework and preliminary findings on identifying structural correlates of symptom dimensions in BPD, especially with dorsolateral and orbitofrontal cortices.