Skip to content

Biological and Neurobehavioral Studies of Borderline Personality Disorder

Edited by Kenneth R. Silk, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-0-88048-480-0
  • Item #8480

View Pricing

List Price

APA Members

20% off

APA Resident-Fellow Members

25% off

Buying In Canada or Europe?


Biological and Neurobehavioral Studies of Borderline Personality Disorder is the first book to examine exclusively the biological and neurobehavioral aspects of borderline personality disorder. It provides an overview of current research trends in this area and reviews a wide range of studies employing such sophisticated techniques as pharmacological probes, structural and functional brain imaging, and neuropsychological tests.

Separate chapters explore the biological underpinnings of dimensions of psychopathology frequently found among borderline patients: impulsivity, aggression, affective lability, depression, panic and/or anxiety states, neurological dysfunction, self-injurious behavior, substance abuse, and transient dissociative phenomena. Also examined are the relationships of borderline personality disorder to Axis-20I affective, schizophrenic, and impulsive spectrum disorders; anxiety and panic disorders; early abuse, limbic system dysfunction, and posttraumatic stress disorder; attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and some types of traumatic brain injury; other disorders characterized by behavioral or cognitive dyscontrol (e.g., eating disorders, obsessional disorders); and substance abuse disorders. The final chapters examine the implications of these studies for clinicians' evaluation, care, and pharmacotherapeutic treatment of their borderline patients and reflect on the future course of biological and neurobehavioral research in borderline personality disorder.


  • Introduction: From first to second generation biological studies of borderline personality disorder. Impulsivity in borderline personality disorder. Impulsivity and serotonin in borderline personality disorder. The cholinergic and noradrenergic neurotransmitter systems and affective instability in borderline personality disorder. Peripheral catecholamine alterations in borderline personality disorder. Borderline personality disorder and the anxiety disorders. Brain imaging in personality disorders. Neuropsychological testing results in borderline personality disorder. Neurological dysfunction in borderline patients and Axis II control subjects. Early abuse, limbic system dysfunction, and borderline personality disorder. 'Quo Vademus?'—New directions in borderline personality disorder research. Implications of biological research for clinical work with borderline patients. Index.

About the Authors

Kenneth R. Silk, M.D., is Associate Professor and Chief of Adult Services and Director of the Personality Disorders Program of the Department of Psychiatry at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

The book does give a good overview of current research in the area. . . . I would recommend it as an excellent reference source for psychiatrists interested in research in the area.—Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine

This book is an important landmark in the biological study of personality disorders. It deserves the attention of students of biological psychiatry and the personality disorders and has much to commend it to the more general reader.—American Journal of Psychiatry

Biological and Neurobehavioral Studies of Borderline Personality Disorder, edited by Kenneth R. Silk, MD, brings together a body of recent work exploring the role of neurobiology in influencing borderline personality disorder. . . . This book provides an outstanding integration of the current knowledge base about biological influences upon borderline personality disorder. Beyond this, however, it offers a perspective upon the ways in which biased neuroregulatory systems can influence personality. Such a perspective may help us to better understand our patients' experience of the world, and the ways in which they compensate with reactive characterological deformations and obligate interpersonal relationship patterns.—Harold W. Koenigsberg, M.D., Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Cornell University Medical College

Related Products

Become an APA Member
Join Now