Correlates of autistic traits among patients with borderline personality disorder.

Compr Psychiatry. 2018 Jan 05;83:7-11

Authors: Dell’Osso L, Cremone IM, Carpita B, Fagiolini A, Massimetti G, Bossini L, Vita A, Barlati S, Carmassi C, Gesi C

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Despite discrete autism-related dimensions, such as deficits in communication, empathy and mentalizing are likely to affect the development of personality and despite they actually frequently occur in borderline patients, no research has so far investigated the relationship between autistic traits and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The objective of this study is to investigate the clinical significance of autistic traits in subjects with BPD.
METHODS: The sample included 50 patients with a clinical diagnosis of BPD and 69 healthy controls. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-5 Clinician Version was used to establish the presence of comorbid mental disorders among BPD subjects and to confirm the absence of lifetime mental disorders in the control group. Participants were also asked to fill three self-report instruments: the Adult Autism Subthreshold Spectrum (AdAS Spectrum), the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) and the Mood Spectrum Self-Report (MOODS-SR).
RESULTS: Patients with BPD reported higher autistic traits than healthy individuals. Moreover, autistic traits were shown to exert a significant impact on some clinical features and associated manifestation of BPD, such as suicidality and lifetime exposure to physical and/or sexual abuse.
CONCLUSIONS: Subthreshold autism spectrum may be relevant for subjects suffering from BPD and future research may further address clinical correlates of autistic traits among patients with this disorder.

PMID: 29500962 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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