Background Structural brain abnormalities have been described in borderline personality disorder (BPD), but previous studies have generally been small and have implicated different brain regions to varying extents.
Method We therefore conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of published volumetric region-of-interest structural magnetic resonance imaging studies of patients with BPD and healthy controls. We additionally used meta-regression to investigate the modulating effects of clinical parameters, including age, on regional brain volumes.
Results The meta-analysis revealed significant bilateral decreases in hippocampal and amygdala volumes in patients with BPD compared with healthy control participants, in the absence of differences in whole-brain volume. Metaregression demonstrated an association between increasing age and reduced hippocampal volumes in BPD.
Discussion Overall, these findings demonstrate clear structural changes in the medial temporal lobe in BPD, showing similarity to the biological effects of early life stress. Copyright (C) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.