The purpose of this report is to describe the relationship between clinical rating assessments of borderline personality disorder (BPD) and regional brain metabolism as measured by positron emission tomography with fluorodeoxyglucuse-F18 (PET-FDG). Fourteen women with BPD underwent PET-FDG scanning in a medication-free state. Correlations were performed on a voxel-by-voxel basis with Buss-Durkee Hostility Index (BDHI) and the Zanarini Rating Scale for Borderline Personality Disorder (ZAN-BPD) which provides a score for BPD severity. There was a significant negative correlation between glucose metabolism in frontal brain areas and the BDHI. Correlations of brain metabolic changes and diagnostic behavioral rating scale scores (ZAN-BPD) were small and seen mostly in posterior areas. The assessment of the statistical relationship of the BDHI to brain regions was substantially more robust than the correlations of the total ZAN-BPD. This exploratory study illustrates regional metabolic values that are highly related to hostile behavior. Our findings replicate some prior studies that have identified a negative relationship between frontal metabolism and aggression in personality disorders. We have also identified a range of other areas that relate to both positive (representing increased drive) and negative (representing impaired control) hostility scores. The substantially greater correlations of the BDHI compared with the ZAN-BPD provide information about the neural underpinnings of BPD.
- Brain metabolism
- Buss-Durkee Hostility Index