Neuroscience and Dissociative Identity Disorder – 11 Pieces of Research from the last 10 years

Recently I watched a 60 minutes programme on Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder) which consists in part of some very dated minority opinions which lacked clinical research to back them up.

Below is an update on original clinical research from Neuroscience covering the last 10 years. Neuroscience is only one piece of information, so consider the following:

  • The research from treatment trials including the Treatment of Patients with Dissociative Disorders study (Top DD), including the patients own reports, decreased hospitalizations as treatment continues, a decreased need for psychiatric medication by those taking it, improved functioning including improved employment for those not originally able to work and patient satisfaction
  • The psychobiological and psychophysiological research which supports the Neuroscience and psychotherapy guidelines, including measures of heart rate variability, skin temperature changes and other objective measures
  • The lack of any autobiographies of people who claim their Dissociative Identity Disorder was caused by therapist malpractice and/or suggestion and/or fantasy, along with the universal autobiographies of people who have healed from DID caused by trauma
  • Neuroscientist A. A. T. S. Reinders has put a list of her research papers and an overview of the neuroimaging of DID on her website http://www.neuroimaging-did.com

Neuroscience and DID 2005-2015

Chalavi, S., Vissia, E. M., Giesen, M. E., Nijenhuis, E. R., Draijer, N., Cole, J. H., … & Reinders, A. A. (2014). Abnormal hippocampal morphology in dissociative identity disorder and post‐traumatic stress disorder correlates with childhood trauma and dissociative symptoms. Human brain mapping.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hbm.22730/full
(MRI)

Reinders, A. S., & Willemsen, A. T. (2014). Dissociative Identity Disorder and Fantasy Proneness: A Positron Emission Tomography Study of Authentic and Enacted Dissociative Identity States. In PET and SPECT in Psychiatry (pp. 411-431). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-40384-2_16
http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-40384-2_16

Reinders, A. A., Willemsen, A., den Boer, J. A., Vos, H. P., Veltman, D. J., & Loewenstein, R. J. (2014). Opposite brain emotion-regulation patterns in identity states Of dissociative identity disorder: A PET study and neurobiological model. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 223(3), 236–243. doi:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2014.05.005
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pscychresns.2014.05.005

Schlumpf, Y. R., Reinders, A. A., Nijenhuis, E. R., Luechinger, R., van Osch, M. J., & Jäncke, L. (2014). Dissociative Part-Dependent Resting-State Activity in Dissociative Identity Disorder: A Controlled fMRI Perfusion Study. PloS one, 9(6), e98795.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hbm.22730/full

Schlumpf, Y. R., Nijenhuis, E. R., Chalavi, S., Weder, E. V., Zimmermann, E., Luechinger, R., … & Jäncke, L. (2013). Dissociative part-dependent biopsychosocial reactions to backward masked angry and neutral faces: An fMRI study of dissociative identity disorder. NeuroImage: clinical, 3, 54-64. doi:10.1016/j.nicl.2013.07.002
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2013.07.002

Savoy RL, Frederick BB, Keuroghlian AS, Wolk PC (2012) Voluntary switching between identities in dissociative identity disorder: a functional MRI case study. Cogn Neurosci 3:112–119
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/24168692/

Reinders AATS, Willemsen ATM, Vos HPJ, den Boer JA, Nijenhuis ERS (2012) Fact or Factitious? A Psychobiological Study of Authentic and Simulated Dissociative Identity States. PLoS ONE 7(6): e39279. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039279
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0039279
(rCBF regional & psychophysiological responses)

Glass brain” renderings showing the dissociative identity state main effects, both for the trauma-related identity state (TIS) and for the neutral identity state (NIS), for the dissociative identity disorder (DID) group (left) and the comparison of this group to the high (middle) and low (right) fantasy prone DID simulating controls (CH and CL respectively). Simone Reinders AAT, Willemsen ATM, Vos HPJ, den Boer JA, Nijenhuis ERS (2012) Correction: Fact or Factitious? A Psychobiological Study of Authentic and Simulated Dissociative Identity States. PLoS ONE 7(7): 10.1371/annotation/4f2000ce-ff9e-48e8-8de0-893b67efa3a4. doi:10.1371/annotation/4f2000ce-ff9e-48e8-8de0-893b67efa3a4

Glass brain” renderings showing the dissociative identity state main effects, both for the trauma-related identity state (TIS) and for the neutral identity state (NIS), for the dissociative identity disorder (DID) group (left) and the comparison of this group to the high (middle) and low (right) fantasy prone DID simulating controls (CH and CL respectively). Simone Reinders AAT, Willemsen ATM, Vos HPJ, den Boer JA, Nijenhuis ERS (2012) Correction: Fact or Factitious? A Psychobiological Study of Authentic and Simulated Dissociative Identity States. PLoS ONE 7(7): 10.1371/annotation/4f2000ce-ff9e-48e8-8de0-893b67efa3a4. doi:10.1371/annotation/4f2000ce-ff9e-48e8-8de0-893b67efa3a4

 

Sar V, Unal SN, Ozturk E (2007) Frontal and occipital perfusion changes in dissociative identity disorder. Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging 156:217–223
http://www.psyn-journal.com/article/S0925-4927(07)00003-0/abstract
(rCBF)

Vermetten, E, Schmahl, C, Lindner, S, Loewenstein, R, Bremner, J.D. Hippocampal and Amygdalar Volumes in Dissociative Identity Disorder Am J Psychiatry 2006 Apr 163:630-636
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16585437
(MRI)

ELZINGA, B. M., ARDON, A. M., HEIJNIS, M. K., De RUITER, M. B., VAN DYCK, R., & VELTMAN, D. J. (2006). Neural correlates of enhanced working-memory performance in dissociative disorder: a functional MRI study. Psychol. Med., 37(02), 235. doi:10.1017/s0033291706008932                                                                      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/17018171/?i=3&from=/24168692/related

Reinders AA, Nijenhuis ER, Quak J, Korf J, Haaksma J, Paans AM, Willemsen AT, den Boer JA.   Psychobiological characteristics of dissociative identity disorder: a symptom provocation study. Biol Psychiatry. 2006 Oct 1;60(7):730-40.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17008145
(rCBF measured by PET – positron emission tomography )

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