Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Fiona van Dijk (Donders series 261)

3 maart 2017

Promotor: prof. dr. J. Buitelaar, prof. dr. R. Verkes

Symptomatic overlap between ADHD and Borderline Personality Disorder: the role of temperament, personality and cognition

ADHD and the borderline personality disorder (BPD) can sometimes be difficult to distinguish in clinical practice. Fiona van Dijk studied the overlap between ADHD and BPD on the level of symptoms, personality, and cognition. The results show that the frequent co-occurrence of ADHD and BPD can be explained by the presence of hyperactivity and impulsivity symptoms and personality characteristics already present in childhood and a possible precursor for BPD in adulthood. The study underlines that there are no clear boundaries between developmental disorders (in childhood) and personality disorders (in adulthood). In clinical practice it could be useful to take personality into account in the assessment and treatment of ADHD. Although there is a clear overlap in symptoms between ADHD and BPD it is still unclear whether this overlap is also biological in nature. Further research including brain imaging techniques is necessary to better understand the relationship between ADHD and BPD and to contribute to better assessment and treatment methods.