New approach could more effectively diagnose personality disorders
(Medical Xpress) -- Personality disorders could be more effectively diagnosed by identifying and targeting the disrupted neurobiological systems where the disorders originate, report Cornell researchers.
The way that these mental illnesses are now classified -- based on particular patterns of thought and behavior -- is misguided and has little hard evidence to support it, reports Cornell neuroscientist Richard Depue and his colleague in a special issue of the Journal of International Review of Psychiatry (23:3).
"The behavioral features used to diagnose personality disorders do not coalesce into coherent disorders in any research," says Depue, professor of human development in the College of Human Ecology, who co-authored the article with graduate student Yu Fu. "As currently defined, the different personality disorders have overlapping behavioral symptoms that also merge imperceptibly with normal behavior. A diagnosis should define a coherent behavioral pattern and predict a particular course, prognosis and treatment. No personality disorder diagnosis can do that."
Their findings fly in the face of current medical practice. Nearly one in 10 Americans suffers from a personality disorder, a group of disabling conditions characterized by serious, sometimes catastrophic, problems with relationships and work. Behavioral features can vary widely, from pervasive disregard for the law and the rights of others (antisocial personality disorder) to extreme mood instability (borderline personality disorder).
The researchers drew their conclusions by conducting a detailed review of the brain systems that underlie the major human personality traits.
Humans have about six major personality traits, each with its own neurobiological foundation that influences such behaviors as how anxious or impulsive we are, Depue notes. For example, the underlying systems and associated personality traits in their model include anxiety/stress-reactivity (thought to underlie neuroticism and negative emotionality) and neural constraint (thought to underlie conscientiousness), among others. The variety of behaviors associated with personality disorders arise from the influence of an individual's genetic make-up and environment on neurobiological functioning, they say.
In their multidimensional model, a person's personality traits can be plotted in three-dimensional space where the axes represent the underlying neurobehavioral systems. The patterns of behavior associated with personality disorders emerge from the interaction of extremely high or low values or levels of normal traits; such extremes lead to impaired interactions, they say.
"Our model links personality traits with the underlying neurobiology, which provides a better framework for understanding how and why personality disorders develop and how they can be treated," he says. "It allows us to better predict interventions, such as certain drugs and/or environmental interventions, which may be of benefit. We can also start thinking of treatments that modify multiple neurobiological variables, rather than just one or two."
And recent discoveries in neuroscience point to the important role environment plays, particularly during early childhood, in how genes are expressed, Depue says. "So, risks for personality disorders can be either magnified or reduced by the interaction of the individual's circumstances with their genetic make-up, in a process called epigenetics. We see evidence for this in personality disorders, which are much more prevalent in those who have suffered from a variety of childhood stresses and abuse."
Their theoretical analysis has implications for the criteria used for classifying personality disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It also contributes to a growing body of evidence that calls for a rethinking of the approach to classifying these illnesses, based on the underlying biochemical and neural processes that result in the symptoms.
Provided by Cornell University
- The dark path to antisocial personality disorder Feb 07, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Study looks more closely at personality disorders Sep 21, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Researchers propose new way to classify personality disorders Oct 12, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- DSM-5 revisions for personality disorders reflect major change Jul 11, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- The impact of deleting 5 personality disorders in the new DSM-5 Jan 24, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
Marie Curie's leukemia
May 13, 2013 Does anyone know what might be the cause of Marie Curie's cancer
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
(Medical Xpress)—Bullying because of perceived sexual orientation is prevalent among school-aged youths, according to a study led by Donald Patrick, professor of health services at the UW School of Public ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 1 minute ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Patients with the most severe and dangerous form of chronic anorexia are more likely to make a significant improvement towards recovery and stay in therapy if traditional psychological treatments are re-focused ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Patients with treatment-resistant major depression saw dramatic improvement in their illness after treatment with ketamine, an anesthetic, according to the largest ketamine clinical trial to-date led by researchers from the ...
Psychology & Psychiatry May 19, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (5) | 1 |
The latest makeover to a massive psychiatric tome honored by some, reviled by others and even called the "Bible" of mental disorders is being released Saturday with a host of new changes.
Psychology & Psychiatry May 18, 2013 | not rated yet | 1
(HealthDay)—Most Medicare beneficiaries treated in inpatient psychiatric facilities (IPFs) exhibit characteristics associated with hospital readmission, according to a report prepared for the National Association ...
Psychology & Psychiatry May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Over the past few decades, neuroscientists have made much progress in mapping the brain by deciphering the functions of individual neurons that perform very specific tasks, such as recognizing the location ...
7 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
In a new study described in the journal Oncogene, researchers reveal how a key player in cell growth, immunity and the inflammatory response can be transformed into a primary contributor to tumor growth.
33 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) typically suffer from depression more frequently than those without COPD, resulting in higher levels of disability and illness and increasing the overall ...
29 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at higher risk of melanoma, a form of skin cancer, report researchers at Mayo Clinic. Researchers found that IBD is associated with a 37 percent greater risk for the disease. ...
34 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) explores pharmaceutical advances for treating irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D) and hepatitis C.
30 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Many studies have shown that men and women who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) - a disorder that causes breathing to halt intermittently during sleep – have a higher mortality rate than those who do not have the ...
30 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0