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The National Institute of Mental Health states that the occurrence of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is more frequent in the general population than bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. It’s estimated to affect around 2 percent of the population.

BPD is said to be a disorder that includes interpersonal relationships, pervasive instability in moods, self-image and behavior, which may lead to suicidal behavior, failed relationships and substance abuse.

A study conducted in unison by the University of Missouri researchers and the Dutch researchers reveal that they have discovered that genetic material on chromosome nine was linked to BPD features.

Timothy Trull, professor of psychology, MU College of Arts and Science, says that, “The results of this study hopefully will bring researchers closer to determining the genetic causes of BPD and may have important implications for treatment programs in the future. Localizing and identifying the genes that influence the development of BPD will not only be important for scientific purposes, but will also have clinical implications.”

Trull says, “Our results suggest that genetic factors play a major role in individual differences of borderline personality disorder features in Western society.”

Trull and his team observed around 711 pair of siblings and 561 parents, in an ongoing study of the health and life styles of twins in Netherlands. An attempt was made to detect the location of genetic traits in them that triggers BPD development. Apparently, through an analysis of genetic linkage of the families, the researchers detected the chromosomal regions that supposedly could hold the BPD triggering genes. Evidently, chromosome nine showed the greatest genetic influence on BPD features.

A previous study was conducted by Trull and his colleagues, in order to verify the extent of genetic influence on the development of BPD features. The results revealed that supposedly, more than half were credited to environmental influences, while the rest were credited to genetic influences. They also revealed that apparently, this disorder was more common in young adults as compared to the older adults.

The study, “Chromosome 9: linkage for borderline personality disorder,” by Trull, was published in Psychiatic Genetics.