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Phase Pilot

Dysregulation in mGluR5 as a marker of BPD and suicide related endophenotypes

  • Study HIC#:2000023168
  • Last Updated:07/15/2021

This study involves the use of brain imaging (MRI and PET) to investigate a potential novel intervention target in borderline personality disorder. Participation in this study begins with a short confidential phone interview and an in-person visit for psychological and medical screening (which includes blood work and a urine drug test). All information provided is confidential. If you meet study criteria, you will be asked to return for one MRI scan and one PET scan. You will also be asked to perform some tests on a computer to assess cognitive functions such as memory and decision-making. You will be paid for each procedure you take part in.


  • Age18 years - 65 years
  • GenderBoth
  • Start Date04/11/2019
  • End Date10/31/2023

Trial Purpose and Description

Aim 1. To determine whether mGluR5 availability in individuals with BPD (n=24) is higher compared to 

matched healthy controls (HC; n=24). Hypothesis: Participants with BPD will have higher mGluR5 availability
compared to the HC group in fronto-limbic circuit regions linked to BPD pathophysiology.
Aim 2. To examine the role of mGluR5 as a trait marker for suicide attempt (SA) in BPD. Hypothesis: BPD- SA
(suicide attempt; n=12) group will exhibit significantly higher mGluR5 availability compared to BPD-NSA
(n=12) group in the fronto-limbic circuit.
Aim 3. To examine the association between mGluR5 availability and endophenotypic correlates of suicidal
behavior in BPD: pain tolerance, impulsivity, and executive dysfunction. Hypotheses: a) dlPFC, OFC, and
amygdala mGluR5 availability will be negatively correlated with executive function, b) mGluR5 availability in
all 5 regions of interest will be positively correlated with impulsivity and c) ACC, dlPFC, OFC, and amygdala
mGlur5 availability will be positively correlated with physical pain tolerance across groups.

Eligibility Criteria

We are looking for men and women who meet the following criteria:

  • Between ages 18-65
  • Diagnosed with borderline personality disorder; OR no mental disorder
  • Smokers OR non-smokers
  • Otherwise medically healthy
  • If female, not pregnant
  • Do not have any metal in their body (incompatible with MRI)

 Accepts Healthy Volunteers as well


Principal Investigator


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