Frontal and Posterior Asymmetry in Female Youth With Borderline Personality Disorder
Agarwal, Rachana Sachin
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AbstractObjective: This study aimed to identify pathophysiological markers of borderline personality disorder (BPD) using electroencephalogram (EEG). More specifically, it examined whether female youth diagnosed with BPD exhibited more frontal or posterior alpha asymmetry relative to healthy youth. Presently, there is limited EEG data on alpha asymmetry in youth with BPD. This study hypothesized that female youth diagnosed with BPD would exhibit greater frontal asymmetry compared to healthy youth. In keeping with this initial hypothesis, it was expected that greater frontal alpha asymmetry in youth with BPD would be associated with greater BPD severity and rumination. Finally, this study also explored posterior asymmetry in the BPD and healthy samples.
Method: Female youth diagnosed with BPD (n = 33) were recruited from McLean Hospital’s 3East residential program and healthy controls (n=35) were recruited from the greater Boston community. Both samples were aged 13 to 23 years. Data regarding psychiatric conditions were obtained through clinical interviews and self-report measures, and resting eyes closed EEG data were acquired using a 128-channel high density net. Analyses focused on total alpha (8-13 Hz), alpha 1 (8.5-10 Hz), and alpha 2 (10.5-12 Hz). Correlations among all study variables were analyzed, and t-tests comparing differences among alpha asymmetry between BPD and healthy youth were conducted.
Results: In contrast to the hypothesis, there were no significant frontal alpha asymmetry differences among healthy and BPD youth. Exploratory analyses, however, found that posterior asymmetry in the alpha 2 band was greater in the BPD relative to the healthy adolescents [t(65) = 2.04, p = .046].
Conclusions: These findings suggest that alpha posterior asymmetry may be a potential pathophysiological marker of BPD.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:37736812