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      Increased Prevalence of Intermittent Rhythmic Delta or Theta Activity (IRDA/IRTA) in the Electroencephalograms (EEGs) of Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder


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          Introduction: An increased prevalence of pathological electroencephalography (EEG) signals has been reported in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD). In an elaborative case description of such a patient with intermittent rhythmic delta and theta activity (IRDA/IRTA), the BPD symptoms where linked to the frequency of the IRDAs/IRTAs and vanished with the IRDAs/IRTAs following anticonvulsive therapy. This observation raised a question regarding the prevalence of such EEG abnormalities in BPD patients. The aim of this retrospective study was to identify the frequency of EEG abnormalities in a carefully analyzed psychiatric collective. Following earlier reports, we hypothesized an increased prevalence of EEG abnormalities in BPD patients.

          Participants and Methods: We recruited 96 consecutive patients with BPD from the archive of a university clinic for psychiatry and psychotherapy, and compared the prevalence of EEG abnormalities to those of 76 healthy controls subjects. The EEGs were rated by three different blinded clinicians, including a consultant specializing in epilepsy from the local epilepsy center.

          Results: We found a significant increase in the prevalence of IRDAs and IRTAs in BPD patients (14.6%) compared to the control subjects (3.9%; p = 0.020).

          Discussion: In this blinded retrospective case-control study, we were able to confirm an increased prevalence of pathological EEG findings (IRDAs/IRTAs only) in BPD patients. The major limitation of this study is that the control group was not matched on age and gender. Therefore, the results should be regarded as preliminary findings of an open uncontrolled, retrospective study. Future research performing prospective, controlled studies is needed to verify our findings and answer the question of whether such EEG findings might predict a positive response to anticonvulsive pharmacological treatment.

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          Most cited references45

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          Borderline personality disorder.

          Borderline personality disorder is characterised by a pervasive pattern of instability in affect regulation, impulse control, interpersonal relationships, and self-image. Clinical signs of the disorder include emotional dysregulation, impulsive aggression, repeated self-injury, and chronic suicidal tendencies, which make these patients frequent users of mental-health resources. Causal factors are only partly known, but genetic factors and adverse events during childhood, such as physical and sexual abuse, contribute to the development of the disorder. Dialectical behaviour therapy and psychodynamic partial hospital programmes are effective treatments for out-of-control patients, and drug therapy can reduce depression, anxiety, and impulsive aggression. More research is needed for the understanding and management of this disabling clinical condition. Current strategies are focusing on the neurobiological underpinnings of the disorder and the development and dissemination of better and more cost-effective treatments to clinicians.
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            Seizure incidence in psychopharmacological clinical trials: an analysis of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) summary basis of approval reports.

            Clinical trial data provide an approach to the investigation of the effects of psychopharmacological agents, and psychiatric disorders themselves, on seizure threshold. We accessed public domain data from Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Phase II and III clinical trials as Summary Basis of Approval (SBA) reports that noted seizure incidence in trials of psychotropic drugs approved in the United States between 1985 and 2004, involving a total of 75,873 patients. We compared seizure incidence among active drug and placebo groups in psychopharmacological clinical trials and the published rates of unprovoked seizures in the general population. Increased seizure incidence was observed with antipsychotics that was accounted for by clozapine and olanzapine, and with drugs indicated for the treatment of OCD that was accounted for by clomipramine. Alprazolam, bupropion immediate release (IR) form, and quetiapine were also associated with higher seizure incidence. The incidence of seizures was significantly lower among patients assigned to antidepressants compared to placebo (standardized incidence ratio = .48; 95% CI, .36- .61). In patients assigned to placebo, seizure incidence was greater than the published incidence of unprovoked seizures in community nonpatient samples. Proconvulsant effects are associated with a subgroup of psychotropic drugs. Second-generation antidepressants other than bupropion have an apparent anticonvulsant effect. Depression, psychotic disorders, and OCD are associated with reduced seizure threshold.
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              Does REM sleep contribute to subjective wake time in primary insomnia? A comparison of polysomnographic and subjective sleep in 100 patients.

              Primary insomnia (PI) is characterized by low subjective sleep quality which cannot always be verified using polysomnography (PSG). To shed light on this discrepancy, subjective estimates of sleep and PSG variables were compared in patients with PI and good sleeper controls (GSC). 100 patients with PI (age: 42.57 +/- 12.50 years, medication free for at least 14 days) and 100 GSC (41.12 +/- 13.99 years) with a sex distribution of 46 men and 54 women in each group were included. Both PSG and questionnaire variables showed clear impairments of sleep quality in PI compared with GSC. The arousal index within total sleep time was increased, which was mainly because of a strong increase within rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Subjectively, more PI than GSC subjects estimated wake times longer than obtained from PSG. Linear modeling analysis of subjective wake time in terms of PSG parameters revealed that in addition to PSG defined wake time, REM sleep time contributed significantly to subjective wake time. This REM sleep contribution was larger for PI than for GSC subjects. The findings suggest that REM sleep-related processes might contribute to subjectively disturbed sleep and the perception of waking time in patients with PI.

                Author and article information

                Front Behav Neurosci
                Front Behav Neurosci
                Front. Behav. Neurosci.
                Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                23 February 2016
                : 10
                : 12
                [1] 1Section for Experimental Neuropsychiatry, Department for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Freiburg Freiburg, Germany
                [2] 2Department of Neurosurgery, Freiburg Epilepsy Center, University Medical Center Freiburg Freiburg, Germany
                [3] 3Department for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Saarland University Medical Center Homburg, Germany
                Author notes

                Edited by: Raymond C. K. Chan, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

                Reviewed by: Xuebing Li, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China; Kristoffer Hougaard Madsen, Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre, Denmark

                *Correspondence: Ludger Tebartz van Elst tebartzvanelst@ 123456uniklinik-freiburg.de
                Copyright © 2016 Tebartz van Elst, Fleck, Bartels, Altenmüller, Riedel, Bubl, Matthies, Feige, Perlov and Endres.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                : 16 February 2015
                : 25 January 2016
                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 4, Equations: 0, References: 55, Pages: 10, Words: 6934
                Original Research

                irda,irta,local area network inhibition,eeg,borderline personality disorder
                irda, irta, local area network inhibition, eeg, borderline personality disorder


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