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Sensorimotor cortex and supplementary motor area changes in schizophrenia. A study with functional magnetic resonance imaging

J. Schröder, F. Wenz, L. Schad, K. Baudendistel and M. Knopp

Br J Psychiatry, 167 (2), pp.197-201

BACKGROUND. Neurological soft signs (NSS) such as a disturbed finger-to-thumb opposition are frequently found in schizophrenia. To identify the underlying cerebral changes we investigated sensorimotor cortex and supplementary motor area (SMA) activation during finger-to-thumb opposition using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). METHOD. Ten DSM-III-R schizophrenics and seven healthy controls were included. All subjects were right-handed. fMRI was carried out in a resting condition followed by an activation state (finger-to-thumb opposition) and the activities in the sensorimotor cortices and SMA recorded. RESULTS. All subjects showed a significant activation of the SMA and both ipsilateral and contralateral sensorimotor cortices. In the controls, ipsilateral finger-to-thumb opposition was associated with a greater left than right hemispheric sensorimotor cortex coactivation. When compared with the healthy controls, the schizophrenic patients showed a decreased activation of both sensorimotor cortices and SMA, as well as a reversed lateralisation effect. CONCLUSION. Sensorimotor cortex and SMA dysfunction are associated with motor disturbances in schizophrenia.

Contact: Dr. Frank Zöllner last modified: 15.07.2019
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