Brain motor region diffusion tensor imaging in patients with catatonic schizophrenia: A case-control study

Amir Krivoy*, Shai Shrot, Matan Avrahami, Tsvi Fischel, Abraham Weizman, Yael Mardor, David Guez, Dianne Daniels, Athos Katelaris, David Last, Chen Hoffmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Only a small proportion of schizophrenia patients present with catatonic symptoms. Imaging studies suggest that brain motor circuits are involved in the underlying pathology of catatonia. However, data about diffusivity dysregulation of these circuits in catatonic schizophrenia are scarce. Objectives: To assess the involvement of brain motor circuits in schizophrenia patients with catatonia. Methods: Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was used to measure white matter signals in selected brain regions linked to motor circuits. Relevant DTI data of seven catatonic schizophrenia patients were compared to those of seven non-catatonic schizophrenia patients, matched for sex, age, and education level. Results: Significantly elevated fractional anisotropy values were found in the splenium of the corpus callosum, the right peduncle of the cerebellum, and the right internal capsule of the schizophrenia patients with catatonia compared to those without catatonia. This finding showed altered diffusivity in selected motor-related brain areas. Conclusions: Catatonic schizophrenia is associated with dysregulation of the connectivity in specific motoric brain regions and corresponding circuits. Future DTI studies are needed to address the neural correlates of motor abnormalities in schizophrenia-related catatonia during the acute and remitted state of the illness to identify the specific pathophysiology of this disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-630
Number of pages6
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Volume23
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Keywords

  • Catatonia
  • Cerebellum
  • Corpus callosum
  • Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)
  • Schizophrenia

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