abstract Jill M. Hooley, D. Phil

Jill M. Hooley, D. Phil (Harvard University)

Neuroimaging approaches to expressed emotion in depression and borderline personality disorder

How families adjust to psychological impairment in a close relative is an important predictor of symptom relapse. When patients who suffer from such problems as schizophrenia, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse problems live in family environments that are characterized by criticism, hostility or emotional over-involvement (i.e., high expressed emotion (EE) family environments) patients are at increased risk of early relapse. In contrast, if patients live with relatives who do not express these attitudes (i.e, low EE relatives) they are much more likely to remain well. This presentation will describe the family characteristics that place patients at elevated risk for relapse and discuss the EE-relapse relationship in depression and in borderline personality disorder. Neuroimaging research examining what happens in the brains of emotionally healthy people and in the brains of people who are vulnerable to psychopathology when they are exposed to EE-based psychosocial challenges will also be discussed.