Similarities between borderline personality disorder and post traumatic stress disorder: Evidence from resting-state meta-analysis

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2019 Oct:105:52-59. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.07.018. Epub 2019 Jul 29.


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are common psychiatric disorders. The nature of the relationship between BPD and PTSD remains controversial, but it has been suggested that these disorders should brought closer because of their many similarities. We thus performed a quantitative meta-analysis of resting-state functional imaging to assess similarities in the brain activation across BPD and PTSD diagnostic groups. Overlap analyses revealed decreased activation in the left and right precuneus of both BPD and PTSD groups when compared to control subjects. BPD showed significant increased, but PTSD showed decreased activation, relative to control subjects, in the anterior cingulate/paracingulate gyri and in the left superior frontal gyrus. Complementary overlap analyses on a subgroup of studies with similar sex and age distribution partially confirmed the main results as the same pattern of functional activation in the anterior cingulate and in the left superior frontal gyrus were found. Our findings are in agreement with the hypothesis that BPD and PTSD share common neuropathological pathways.

Keywords: Age-dependant neuroplasticity; Borderline personality disorder; Post-traumatic stress disorder; Resting state; Trauma.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Borderline Personality Disorder / diagnostic imaging
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Connectome*
  • Humans
  • Nerve Net / diagnostic imaging
  • Nerve Net / physiopathology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity* / physiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnostic imaging
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / physiopathology*