Neurological Soft Signs Are Associated With Altered White Matter in Patients With Schizophrenia.

Viher, Petra Verena; Stegmayer, Katharina Deborah Lena; Bracht, Tobias; Federspiel, Andrea; Bohlhalter, Stephan; Strik, Werner; Wiest, Roland; Walther, Sebastian (2022). Neurological Soft Signs Are Associated With Altered White Matter in Patients With Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia bulletin, 48(1), pp. 220-230. Oxford University Press 10.1093/schbul/sbab089

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Neurological soft signs (NSS) are related to grey matter and functional brain abnormalities in schizophrenia. Studies in healthy subjects suggest, that NSS are also linked to white matter. However, the association between NSS and white matter abnormalities in schizophrenia remains to be elucidated. The present study investigated, if NSS are related to white matter alterations in patients with schizophrenia. The total sample included 42 healthy controls and 41 patients with schizophrenia. We used the Neurological Evaluation Scale (NES), and we acquired diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging to assess white matter on a voxel-wise between subject statistic. In patients with schizophrenia, linear associations between NES with fractional anisotropy (FA), radial, axial, and mean diffusivity were analyzed with tract-based spatial statistics while controlling for age, medication dose, the severity of the disease, and motion. The main pattern of results in patients showed a positive association of NES with all diffusion measures except FA in important motor pathways: the corticospinal tract, internal capsule, superior longitudinal fascicle, thalamocortical radiations and corpus callosum. In addition, exploratory tractography analysis revealed an association of the right aslant with NES in patients. These results suggest that specific white matter alterations, that is, increased diffusivity might contribute to NSS in patients with schizophrenia.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Translational Research Center
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

UniBE Contributor:

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


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Oxford University Press




Sebastian Walther

Date Deposited:

17 Sep 2021 15:17

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:35

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

TBSS motor symptoms neurological evaluation scale psychosis




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