Altered diffusion in motor white matter tracts in psychosis patients with catatonia.

Viher, Petra V.; Stegmayer, Katharina; Federspiel, Andrea; Bohlhalter, Stephan; Wiest, Roland; Walther, Sebastian (2020). Altered diffusion in motor white matter tracts in psychosis patients with catatonia. Schizophrenia Research, 220, pp. 210-217. Elsevier 10.1016/j.schres.2020.03.017

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Catatonia is a complex psychomotor symptom frequently observed in schizophrenia. Neural activity within the motor system is altered in catatonia. Likewise, white matter (WM) is also expected to be abnormal. The aim of this study was to test, if schizophrenia patients with catatonia show specific WM alterations. Forty-eight patients with schizophrenia and 43 healthy controls were included. Catatonia was currently present in 13 patients with schizophrenia. Tract-Based Spatial Statistics was used to test for differences in fractional anisotropy (FA) in the whole brain between the three groups. We detected a group effect (F-test) of WM within the corpus callosum (CC). In the t-test, patients with catatonia showed higher FA in many left lateralized WM clusters involved in motor behaviour compared to patients without catatonia, including the CC, internal and external capsule, superior longitudinal fascicle (SLF) and corticospinal tract (CST). Similarly, patients with catatonia showed also higher FA in the left internal capsule and left CST compared to healthy controls. In contrast, the group comparison between patients without catatonia and healthy controls revealed lower FA in many right lateralized clusters, comprising the CC, internal capsule, SLF, and inferior longitudinal fascicle in patients without catatonia. Our results are in line with the notion of an altered motor system in catatonia. Thus, our study provides evidence for increased WM connectivity, especially in motor tracts in schizophrenia patients with catatonia.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > DCR Unit Sahli Building > Forschungsgruppe Neurologie
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Translational Research Center
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology

UniBE Contributor:

Viher, Petra, Stegmayer, Katharina Deborah Lena, Federspiel, Andrea, Bohlhalter, Stephan, Wiest, Roland Gerhard Rudi, Walther, Sebastian


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Martin Zbinden

Date Deposited:

04 May 2020 11:36

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:33

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Catatonia Diffusion tensor imaging Motor system Schizophrenia Tract-Based Spatial Statistics




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