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Prefrontal and/or temporo-limbic abnormalities associated with antisocial personality disorder (APD), high psychopathy scores and violent behaviours can readily be evaluated by neuroimaging methods.
In this study, we compared the brain metabolites in adult male military conscripts with APD, high psychopathy scores and serious violent crimes (n = 15) with age- and educational-level-matched healthy controls (n = 15) by means of magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
All cases were diagnosed by means of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual-IV APD module of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM III-R Axis II Disorders (SCID-II) semistructured questionnaire in Turkish. The psychopathy scores were evaluated by means of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised translated into Turkish (PCL-R). PCL-R is a 20-item, reliable and valid instrument for assessment of psychopathy, both in categorical and dimensional natures. All patients had a total score of 29 (of possible 40) or higher from PCL-R, indicating a high degree of psychopathy.
Our results showed no significant differences in ratio of N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), creatine (Cr) and choline-related compounds in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and amygdala–hippocampus regions of cases compared with controls. ACC NAA/Cr was significantly negatively correlated with both the PCL-R total score and the PCL-R factor I score (interpersonal/affective problems) among the cases.
As ACC plays an important role in decision-making and emotional information processing, we postulate that the lower NAA/Cr ratio, suggesting impaired neural integrity, may increase the severity of interpersonal/affective problems of the psychopathy factor in male subjects exhibiting APD, high psychopathy overall scores and violent crimes.
The prevalence of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) is unidentified. We hypothesised that BDD would be more common than realised in patients with BPD and comorbidity with BDD would result in a more severe clinical profile. Also, childhood trauma may play a predictive role in this association.
The study included 70 BPD in-patients and 70 matched healthy controls. The subjects were evaluated with a comprehensive assessment battery using Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I), Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R Personality Disorders (SCID-II) diagnostic tool for BDD, Global Assessment of Functioning, Traumatic Experiences Checklist and Hamilton Depression Rating Scale.
The prevalence of BDD was 54.3% in the borderline sample. The BPD patients with BDD had significantly lower overall functioning and higher levels of BPD pathology, childhood traumatic experiences, suicide attempts, substance abuse and self-mutilation than those without BDD. Traumatic experiences were significant predictor of comorbid BDD diagnosis in BPD patients.
Our results suggest a relatively high prevalence of BDD among patients with BPD, and co-occurrence of BDD and BPD remains to be clarified. The additional diagnosis of BDD in patients with BPD may cause a more severe global illness, and these two disorders may share, at least partly, a common psychopathologic mechanism.
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