When it comes to brains, no two are alike. Variations in the structure and functioning of your brain can make you more prone to certain psychiatric disorders, such as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and depression.
A recent study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that higher levels of glutamate – a neurotransmitter in the brain that stimulates nerve cells – in the brain’s limbic system can lead to increased BPD symptoms. Preliminary studies by researchers at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany, found that increased levels of glutamate correlated with impulsivity and self-reported BPD symptoms.
A 2009 study by the Joslin Diabetes Center linked high levels of glutamate in people with Type 1 diabetes to symptoms of depression. Researchers found that high levels of glutamate in the prefrontal areas of the brain can cause damage to neurons, lower cognitive functioning, and increase levels of depression.
While these studies have only begun to investigate the brain’s impact on psychiatric disorders, they suggest that medications that reduce glutamate levels may help decrease the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder and depression.