Changes in EEG mean frequency associated with anxiety and with amphetamine challenge in BPD

Jack R. Cornelius, S. Charles Schulz, Richard P. Brenner, Paul H. Soloff, Richard F. Ulrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Recent authors have hypothesized that cerebral dysfunction, as reflected in an abnormal EEG, may play an important role in the behavioral symptoms of patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Spectral analysis and amphetamine challenge testing are two promising methods for probing the clinical symptomatology of this disorder. In this study, we evaluated the relationship between clinical symptoms and computerized EEG spectral analysis in BPD patients both before and after amphetamine challenge. We found that mean frequency values on spectral analysis consistently correlated with anxiety levels in our patients, but did not correlate with a wide variety of other important symptoms, such as depression or transient psychosis. This result, coupled with our previous negative findings concerning EEG abnormalities in patients with BPD, casts doubt on the etiological relationship of cerebral dysrhythmias to the behavioral pathology of this disorder, but raises interesting questions concerning the relationship of anxiety and mean frequency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-594
Number of pages8
JournalBiological psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1988
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
From the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, F’ittsburah.P A. Supported by NIMH GE& MH35392 and MHOO658 and CRC Grant MH30915. Resented at the Society of Biological Psychiatry 41st Annual Convention and Scientific Program, 1986. Address reprint requests to Dr. lack R. ComeIius, Room 874. Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, 3811 G’Ham S-t, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 Received August 17, 1987; revised January 22, 1988.


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