Defining Borderline Personality Disorder Impulsivity: Review of Neuropsychological Data and Challenges that Face Researchers

Author(s): Jean Gagnon

It has been pointed out that the definition of BPD impulsivity would be improved by incorporating neurobehavioral models in order to bridge the research and the DSM behavioral criterion. Moeller et al. [1] have proposed three neuropsychological diagnostic criterions related to impulsivity in psychiatric disorders: (1) rapid, unplanned reactions to stimuli before complete processing of information; (2) lack of regard for long-term consequences and; (3) decreased sensitivity to negative consequences of behavior. The goal of this paper was to review the neuropsychological literature of BPD impulsivity in line with these neuropsychological diagnostic criterions to verify if the evidence from neuropsychological data and measurements is sufficiently strong to be integrated into the DSM definition of BPD impulsivity. Results of the review highlight some evidence regarding neuropsychological deficits in BPD patients that may be underlying their impulsive self-damaging behaviors. However, at least five methodological challenges are pointed out and need to be addressed before these deficits can be successfully integrated into a definition of BPD impulsivity. Some solutions are proposed to face the main challenges in studying impulsivity in BPD.

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