The authors used amphetamine as a psychopharmacological probe to
investigate the hypothesis that patients with borderline personality
disorder are prone to psychosis following ingestion of a dopamine agonist.
Sixteen patients with borderline personality disorder participated in the
study. Significant increases in the mean total Brief Psychiatric Rating
Scale scores and in activation and thought disturbance factors after
amphetamine administration were noted in the sample. Patients with
diagnoses of both schizotypal and borderline personality disorders worsened
transiently with amphetamine administration, but patients with only the
borderline diagnosis improved. These results indicate the usefulness of
pharmacological probes to further understand DSM-III axis II disorders.