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Adults with BPD are also considerably more likely to be the victim of violence, including NIMH-funded neuroscience research is revealing brain mechanisms underlying the impulsivity, mood instability, aggression, anger, and negative emotion seen in BPD.Studies suggest that people predisposed to impulsive aggression have impaired regulation of the neural circuits that modulate emotion.New evidence and a study of 5,496 twins in the Netherlands, Belgium and Australia drew the conclusion that 42 percent of variation in BPD features was attributable to genetic influences and 58 percent was attributable to environmental influences.There is more of a link to genetics of the disorder than previously thought.Forty to 71% of BPD patients report having been sexually abused, usually by a non-caregiver.
The amygdala, a small almond-shaped structure deep inside the brain, is an important component of the circuit that regulates negative emotion.
In response to signals from other brain centers indicating a perceived threat, it marshals fear and arousal.
Recent brain-imaging studies show that individual differences in the ability to activate regions of the prefrontal cerebral cortex thought to be involved in inhibitory activity predict the ability to suppress negative emotion.
Serotonin, norepinephrine and acetylcholine are among the chemical messengers in these circuits that play a role in the regulation of emotions, including sadness, anger, anxiety, and irritability.
Although the cause of BPD is unknown, both environmental and genetic factors are thought to play a role in predisposing patients to BPD symptoms and traits.
Studies show that many, but not all, individuals with BPD report a history of abuse, neglect, or separation as young children.