Anterior cingulate volume reduction in adolescents with borderline personality disorder and co-morbid major depression

J Psychiatr Res. 2011 Jun;45(6):803-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2010.11.011. Epub 2010 Dec 8.


Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a serious illness characterized by emotional dysregulation, impulsivity, and impaired interpersonal relationships. Prior work shows the anterior cingulate gyrus (ACG)-a region primarily involved in assessing the salience of emotional information and regulating emotional responses--is smaller in adults with BPD. We tested the hypothesis that, similar to adults, adolescents with BPD would have reduced Brodmann area (BA)-24 volume. Thirteen adolescent inpatients with co-morbid BPD and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and 13 matched healthy controls received 3T-MRI scans. Using a cytoarchitecturally-derived approach measuring gray and white matter volume, we observed a Group × Cingulate BA (25,24,31,23,29) × Matter (gray, white) type interaction indicating the BPD/MDD adolescents had smaller BA24 volume in gray but not white matter. Greater number of suicide attempts and BPD symptom severity measured by the Diagnostic Interview for BPD-revised (DIB-R) total score but not depressive symptoms measured by the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was associated with smaller BA24 volume. Our preliminary findings suggest that BPD-related abnormalities in BA24 volume may occur early in the developmental course of BPD with MDD. Future studies examining samples of MDD patients with and without BPD co-morbidity will be needed to clarify whether BA24 volume reductions are specific to BPD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / diagnosis
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / pathology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / pathology*
  • Female
  • Gyrus Cinguli / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Organ Size
  • Personality Inventory
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales