Randi Kreger has brought the concerns of people who have a family member with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) to an international forefront through her best-selling books, informative website, and popular online family support community Welcome to Oz.
Researchers Find Brain Differences in Narcissists
It's hard to get a grip on the fact that arrogant, selfish, and entitled narcissists have no empathy—something even some animals possess. While brain scans show that individuals with borderline personality disorder process emotions differently from healthy controls, we haven't seen any brain differences between people with narcissistic personality disorder and everyone else.
Stefan Röpke, a professor in the department of psychiatry at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin in Germany, recently published a study in the Journal of Psychiatric Research that showed that people with NPD have structural abnormalities in the cerebral cortex, a region of the brain involved in the processing and generation of compassion.
The cerebral cortex, which forms the external nerve cell layer of the brain, was markedly reduced in thickness compared to the control group. This is important because this area houses the cells that provide energy and nourishment to neurons — the information powerhouses of the brain.
Röpke said to the LiveScience website, "Our data shows that the amount of empathy is directly correlated to the volume of gray brain matter of the corresponding cortical representation in the insular region, and that the patients with narcissism exhibit a structural deficit in exactly this area. This was already a region of interest for empathy, but for the first time, we were able to show that it is structurally correlated in the brain."
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