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  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

Investigation of memory suppression in borderline personality disorder patients

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  • 2,
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Annals of General Psychiatry20065 (Suppl 1) :S206

  • Published:


  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Personality Disorder
  • Traumatic Experience
  • Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex
  • Severe Mental Disorder


Recently it has been suggested that hippocampus and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) are involved in the mechanism of suppression of unwanted memories, which may play a key role in the pathophysiology of some psychopathological symptoms, like emotional instability, flashbacks and intrusive thoughts (Anderson et al. 2004). These symptoms are often seen in subjects with stress related disorders (Sala et al. 2004), such as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). This is a severe mental disorder characterized by mood instability, impulse discontrol, instability of personal relationships, being frequently associated with hystory of childhood traumatic experiences. However, although its pathophysiology is still largely unknown, some brain imaging studies reported structural and functional abnormalities of hippocampus and DLPFC in BPD patients (Brambilla et al. 2004; Driessen et al. 2000). In this ongoing study we are investigating whether the repression mechanism is affected in BPD, possibly in part sustaining the pathophysiology and the psychopathology of the disorder.

Materials and methods

The Anderson's paradigm, which explores the capacity of remembering and suppressing pair of words previously learned, is being administered to patients with BPD and healthy controls.


Preliminary results will be presented at the congress.


The think/no-think paradigm from Anderson et al. (Anderson and Green 2001) investigating hippocampal/DLPFC functioning in memory suppression may be helpful to study the memory repression mechanism in patients with BPD.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Physiological, Pharmacological and Cellular Sciences, University of Pavia, Italy
Department Of Health and Behavioural Sciences. Section Of Psychiatry, University of Pavia, Italy
Interuniversity Center for Behavioral Neurosciences, Department of Pathology and Clinical and Experim, Italy


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  2. Driessen M, Herrmann J, Stahl K, Zwaan M, Meier S, Hill A, Osterheider M, Petersen D: Magnetic resonance imaging volumes of the hippocampus and the amygdala in women with borderline personality disorder and early traumatization. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2000, 57: 1115-1122. 10.1001/archpsyc.57.12.1115.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
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© The Author(s) 2006