Efficacy and Tolerability of Brain Stimulation Interventions in Borderline Personality Disorder: State-of-the-Art and Future Perspectives – A Systematic Review

SOURCE: Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry. 116:110537, 2022 06 08.

AUTHORS: Lisoni J; Barlati S; Deste G; Ceraso A; Nibbio G; Baldacci G; Vita A

ABSTRACT: Treating Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a major challenge for
psychiatrists. As Brain Stimulation represents an alternative approach to treat psychiatric disorders, our systematic review is the first to focus on both invasive and Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation (NIBS) interventions in people living with BPD, examining clinical effects over core features and comorbid conditions. Following PRISMA guidelines, out of 422 original records, 24 papers were included regarding Deep Brain Stimulation (n = 1), Electroconvulsive therapy (n = 5), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (n = 13) and transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (n = 5). According to impulsivity and emotional dysregulated domain improvements, NIBS in BPD appears to restore frontolimbic network deficiencies. NIBS seems also to
modulate depressive features. Safety and tolerability profiles for each technique are discussed. Despite encouraging results, definitive recommendations on Brain Stimulation in BPD are mitigated by protocols heterogeneity, lack of randomized controlled trials and poor quality of included studies, including high risk of methodological biases. To serve as guide for future systematic investigations, protocols optimization proposals are provided, focusing on alternative stimulation sites and suggesting a NIBS symptom-based approach.