Reduced glucose metabolism in temporo-parietal cortices of women with borderline personality disorder

Psychiatry Res. 2005 Jul 30;139(2):115-26. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2005.05.003.


Individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often experience dissociative symptoms. Evidence is increasing that stress-related hyperglutamatergic states may contribute to dissociative symptoms and neurodegeneration in temporo-parietal cortical areas. Seventeen young women with BPD who had been exposed to severe childhood physical/sexual abuse and presented with pronounced dissociative symptoms underwent (18)fluoro-2-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET). Nine healthy, matched volunteers served as comparison subjects. Borderline subjects displayed reduced FDG uptake (as analyzed by SPM) in the right temporal pole/anterior fusiform gyrus and in the left precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex. Impaired memory performance among borderline subjects was significantly correlated with metabolic activity in ventromedial and lateral temporal cortices. Our results demonstrate regional hypometabolism in temporal and medial parietal cortical regions known to be involved in episodic memory consolidation and retrieval. Currently, the precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex is modeled as part of a network of tonically active brain regions that continuously gather information about the world around and within us. Decreased resting metabolic rate of these regions may reflect dissociative symptoms and possibly also identity disturbances and interpersonal difficulties of individuals with BPD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / epidemiology
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / metabolism*
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / statistics & numerical data
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Dissociative Disorders / metabolism
  • Dissociative Disorders / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parietal Lobe / metabolism*
  • Parietal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / metabolism
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / physiopathology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Temporal Lobe / metabolism*
  • Temporal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Wechsler Scales


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Glucose