Motor dysfunction and sensorimotor cortex activation changes in schizophrenia: A study with functional magnetic resonance imaging

Johannes Schröder, Marco Essig, Klaus Baudendistel, Thomas Jahn, Ingo Gerdsen, Andreas Stockert, Lothar R. Schad, Michael V. Knopp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Recent studies demonstrate a diminished activation of the sensorimotor cortex and supplementary motor area (SMA) in schizophrenia which may be involved in the pathogenesis of neurological soft signs (NSS). Yet, the question whether a retarded motor performance may account for these changes remained to be clarified. Twelve DSM-III-R schizophrenics and 12 healthy controls were included. All subjects were right-handed. Nine patients received clozapine, two conventional neuroleptics, and one was drug-free. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was obtained in a resting condition and during pronation/supination at three speed levels (low, medium, and high) with motor performance recorded simultaneously using a pronation/supination device. While measures of motor retardation (i.e., repetition rate and amplitude of the movements) did not differ between patients and controls, the variability of performance was significantly (P < 0.05) increased in the patients' group. In addition, patients with schizophrenia showed a significantly (P < 0.05) decreased activation of the sensorimotor cortices. Similar, although nonsignificant (P = 0.09) activation changes were observed in the SMA. Activation differences were more pronounced at a slow speed and in the drug-free patient. These results confirm a diminished sensorimotor cortex and SMA activation and indicate that variability of performance rather than retarded performance per se may correspond to these changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalNeuroImage
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1999

Keywords

  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Neurological soft signs
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sensorimotor cortex
  • Supplementary motor area

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