Last updated on March 2019

Preliminary Trial of the Effect of Glucocorticoid Receptor Antagonist on Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)


Brief description of study

Participants will be randomized to either Mifepristone 600mg once daily for seven days or Placebo tablet once daily for seven days. Rating scales, vital signs, cortisol levels will be collected for evaluation.

Detailed Study Description

Mifepristone is an antagonist of type II glucocorticoid (GR-II) receptors, which has shown safety, efficacy, and good tolerability in the treatment of psychotic major depression (PMD). Like BPD, HPA axis hyper-responsiveness appears to play a role in PMD pathophysiology. Belanoff et al. (2002) hypothesized that mifepristone causes a normalizing "resetting" of HPA axis rhythm, accounting for its efficacy in PMD. Mifepristone produces a marked (2- to 3- fold) compensatory increase in central cortisol levels via its antagonism of GR-II receptors. This consequent central cortisol elevation may then be able to counteract abnormally heightened CRH activity via enhanced negative feedback mechanisms.

This is a proof of principle study of mifepristone in the treatment of individuals with BPD and histories of childhood abuse, which aims to translate neurobiological research concerning HPA axis abnormalities in BPD into a novel clinical intervention for patients. This project will also explore an innovative approach to the structure of pharmacotherapy for BPD. Specifically, we will employ the circumscribed (finite) drug administration period used in prior studies of mifepristone in neuropsychiatric illness, which differs from the current clinical practice of indefinite daily usage of medications. We hypothesize that mifepristone will beneficially impact stress response neurobiology and consequently ameliorate associated BPD symptoms.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT01212588

Recruitment Status: Closed


Brief Description Eligibility Contact Research Team


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