As with other mental disorders, the causes of borderline personality disorder (BPD) are complex and not fully
understood. In this study we aimed to determine whether adults with BPD exhibit microstructural abnormalities
using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). 56 female right-handed individuals (age range, 14-18 years), 19 with a
DSM-IV diagnosis of BPD, 18 patients with a DSM-IV defined current psychiatric disorder and 19 healthy control
subjects were included. Groups were matched for age and IQ. DTI Images were analyzed using Tract-Based
Spatial Statistics (TBSS).
The analysis revealed significanty reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) values in the group of BPD patients compared
to the normal controls. Similar FA reductions could not be found comparing BPD patients to clinical
controls. Several clusters of increased radial (DR), axial (DA), and mean (MD) diffusivity were consistently
identified when comparing the BPD patients to clinical as well as to healthy controls. None of the measures
showed significant differences between the clinical and healthy controls.
Diverse possible factors have been suggested to play a role in the disease, including environmental factors,
neurobiological factors, or brain abnormalities. The presented results may play an important role in this ongoing