Antisocial Personality Disorder

Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) is classified under Criterion B Personality Disorder in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM V). ASPD is defined by the persistent pattern of disregard for, and the violation of, others that can be observed from early adolescence to adulthood[1]. Underlying the numerous symptoms, there are many comorbid disorders/diseases associated with individuals with ASPD[2]. Numerous areas of the brain have been found to be implicated with ASPD through neuroimaging research; the most prominent areas being the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, amygdala, superior temporal sulcus, and the cingulate cortex[3]. Although much is now known about the phenotypes of ASPD, there is still much ongoing research to try and determine the environmental and genetic causes that might underlie the onset and progression of the disorder, as well as possible treatments[4],[5]. Current research shows some of the most notorious characteristics of ASPD individuals such as reduced empathy and stimulation seeking are caused by early brain abnormalities including the caudate head and body, amygdala and thalamus.

Bibliography
1. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, 5th Edition (2013).
2. Li, D, et. al. “Association of COL25A1 with Comorbid Antisocial Personality Disorder and Substance Dependence.” Biol Psychiatry 2012; 71:733–740.
3. Fumagalli M, Priori A. Functional and clinical neuroanatomy of morality. Brain. (2012). doi: 10.1093/brain/awr334
4. Flory, J.D., et al. “Serotonergic function in children with attention − deficit hyperactivity disorder: Relationship to later antisocial personality disorder.” BJP 2007; 190: 410-414.
5. Hodgins, S, et al. “Anxiety Disorders Among Offenders With Antisocial Personality Disorders: A Distinct Subtype?” The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 2010; 55: 784-791.


Brain Patterns in Antisocial Personality Disorder

main article: Brain Patterns in Antisocial Personality Disorder
author: Mike Zafur

Brain Patterns in Antisocial Personality Disorders
Image Unavailable
Including a review of an article written by Schiffer et al.
for the Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging journal in January of 2014.

Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) is a personality disorder classified by the American Psychiatric Association, characterized by a lack of empathy for others in various forms, ranging from psychotic behavior to social isolation. Underlying all of these behaviors are functions of the brain that are abnormal or otherwise compromised; the Amygdala and Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex are key areas of the brain that deal with social behaviors, emotional responses and psychosis, and thus their structures and functions are of great importance to the classification and possible treatment of ASPD. It has been noted that lesions or damage to these areas of the brain can result in ASPD-like symptoms in individuals. Using fMRI scans to create blood oxygen level dependent images, activity in specific parts of the brain has been recorded and differences between the typical and atypical brain are being studied. These images combined with testing results show clear differences in brain function between individuals that function normally in society and individuals with a history of impaired social interactions. Using the information from these types of studies, extrapolation of possible means of treating patients with ASP can be made, and is being studied extensively, though there is no clear cut cure for the mental disorder at the moment.

Bibliography
1. Schiffer, B et al. (2014, January 28). Neural mechanism underlying cognitive control of men with lifelong anstisocial behavior.
2. Sharpe, Katherine. (2014, February 12). Medication: The smart-pill oversell.


Comorbidity in Antisocial Personality Disorder

main article: Comorbidity in Antisocial Personality Disorder
author: Shabd Arya

ASPD
Image Unavailable
http://www.all-about-psychology.com/images/antisocial-personality-disorder-question-21455230.jpg

Comorbidity is the accompaniment of another disease with the original disease in someone. This can create some problems, especially in the diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder, as there are multiple symptoms that are quite common in multiple disorders. [Bibliography item example1 not found.] Due to this, the lack of proper differentiation between what is pure Antisocial Personality Disorder and that of comorbid disease is predictable. One of the most common co-occurrences that are seen in individuals is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and can account for a large percent of the population with ASPD.[Bibliography item example3 not found.] Aggressive behavior, which is already quite eminent in ASPD individuals, leads to increased substance dependence. [Bibliography item example1 not found.] According to Witchen et. al. (2000), another very commonly occurring disorder are anxiety disorders that tend to lead to certain heightened symptoms. Due to this, those with ASPD of different comorbidities require treatments that are specifically designed for them, so that the treatment would have maximum effect. [Bibliography item example2 not found.]

Bibliography


Compromised Neurocognitive Control in Antisocial Personality Disorder

main article: Compromised Neurocognitive Control in Antisocial Personality Disorder
author: Osob Regal
Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is characterized by a variety of pervasive patterns and antisocial behaviors in individuals. Most notably this includes, but is not limited to, impulsive behaviors leading to a disregard for the wellbeing of others. Furthermore, ASPD is associated with several neurocognitive deficits assumed to cause the persistence of these antisocial behaviors, as well as other aberrancies with cognition. Cognitive inflexibility, attentional deficits, and alternations in schematic processing are but a few of the cognitive anomalies exhibited in persons with ASPD. Along with the underlying neurological insults, these cognitive dysfunctions will be the primary focus of this review.

Antisocial behaviors and cognitive defects characteristic of ASPD are regulated by anomalies in several brain regions. Particular focus has been given to prefrontal brain structures, including the anterior cingulate (ACC), ventromedial (vmPFC), fusiform gyri, and hypothalamus. Problems in these areas explain the cognitive aberrancies in understanding and responding to stimuli, poor allocation of attention and maladaptive schematic processing.

Currently, a plethora of ASPD research has focused on the aforementioned prefrontal brain structures, and their relation to impulsive behaviors, emotional processing, and issues with attentional redirection. Researchers have also looked into the genetics governing ASPD, including identifying associated genes and as such, implementing appropriate therapies and treatments.
However, very few studies have looked into developing therapies based on neurocognitive defects. One such study by Lobbestael et al. implemented a schema-focused therapy approach to incarcerated individuals with ASPD [10]. The importance of cognition, and the associated neurological insults should not be downplayed, however, and will be discussed in further detail.

Bibliography
[10] Lobbestael J., Arntz C., Chakhssi F. Effects of induced anger in patients with antisocial personality disorder. Psychological Medicine. 39, 557-568. (2009).


Early brain abnormalities in relation to certain personality traits in ASPD

main article: Early brain abnormalities in relation to certain personality traits in ASPD
author: Grace Cheung

Image Unavailable
Richard Ramirez-a serial killer, also known as the Night Stalker. Known for keeping "trophies" e.g. body parts of the victim after mutilated them. Image source: archaicradio.com

People with ASPD are believed to be cold blooded and remorseless for committing terrible crimes that often involves inhuman elements, therefore the thought of being able to identify individuals with biological vulnerability to ASPD by early brain imaging becomes intriguing. The earliest sign of ASPD individuals is the problem of conduct disorder (which will be discussed briefly after this introduction section) during adolescence where one's psychopathic traits begin to surface and causes conduct problems in places like schools. Psychopathic traits are often originated from core impairments in empathy (e.g. hard to understand other's expressions of distress), and in decision making (significantly impaired prediction error signalling resulting a heightened need for instrumental reward outcomes like power or sexual gratification)[1]. Known regions of the brain related to these impairments are the amygdala, vmPFC and striatum. Current research using advance neuroimaging tools like MRI scans, stereological volumetric assessment and computer software like SPSS shows some of the notorious characteristics of ASPD individuals such as reduced empathy and stimulation seeking are caused by early brain abnormalities including the thalamus, amygdala and the striatum (caudate head and body).

Bibliography
1. James, R., Blair, R. (2013).The neurobiology of psychopathic traits in youths. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 14(1):786–799


Morality and Antisocial Personality Disorder

main article: Morality and Antisocial Personality Disorder
author: Taeyoung Lim

Psychopath
Image Unavailable
Ted Bundy, is an American serial killer who preyed on numerous
women using superficial charm to win them over and later kill them

A defining characteristic of an individual with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is the prevalent disregard for and violation of other people's civil rights[1]. These individuals exhibit psychopathic traits, such as callousness and lack of empathy, and are prone to committing crimes. Psychopaths (this wiki will use this term interchangeably with ASPD) have the tendency to commit acts of moral transgression despite being aware of their wrongdoing. Thus, in order to get a better understanding of ASPD, it is crucial to study the psychological and neural basis of morality. The work by Jean Piaget, later expanded by Lawrence Kohlberg, have been the most influential in the psychology of moral development[2][3]. In addition, neurobiological studies have shown that several brain structures implicated with morality. The most studied regions of the brain include the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, temporal lobe, cingulate cortex, and amygdala[4]. Studies in genetics also show that some psychopathic traits, such as aggression, can be inherited, implicating that there might be a predisposition for morality[4].

Bibliography
1. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorder, 5th Edition (2013).
2. Thomas RM. Moral development theories - secular and religious. Westport: Greenwood Press. 1997
3. Ric: 4 : Fumagalli M, Priori A. Functional and clinical neuroanatomy of morality. Brain (2012). doi: 10.1093/brain/awr334 unctional and clinical neuroanatomy of morality. Brain (2012). doi: 10.1093/brain/awr334
4. Fumagalli M, Priori A. Functional and clinical neuroanatomy of morality. Brain (2012). doi: 10.1093/brain/awr334


The Genetic and Environmental Causes of Antisocial Personality Disorder

main article: The Genetic and Environmental Causes of Antisocial Personality Disorder
author: Sarah Choudhry
Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) is a personality disorder that is characterized by chronic boredom or irritability, as well as the blatant disregard for society’s norms.[1] ASPD is an umbrella term that encompasses individuals with both psychopathic and sociopathic tendencies. A great deal of research has been conducted upon identifying and understanding the phenotypes and symptoms of ASPD, however not much is known about the causes. Researchers are generally in agreement, however, that it is a combination of environmental and genetic influences that preclude the onset of the disorder.[1] Sociopathic tendencies are believed to have a greater influence from environmental factors, whereas symptoms that are more psychopathic in nature are considered to be more heavily influenced by genetics.[2]

Bibliography
1. Harvard Health Publications (2011) “Antisocial Personality Disorder” Belvoir Media Group, LLC.
2. Walsh A, Wu H. (2013) “Differentiating antisocial personality disorder, psychopathy, and sociopathy: evolutionary, genetic, neurological, and sociological considerations” Criminal Justice Studies 21(2):135-52.



Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License