Multimodal Magnetic Resonance Imaging Data Fusion Reveals Distinct Patterns of Abnormal Brain Structure and Function in Catatonia

Dusan Hirjak, Mahmoud Rashidi, Katharina M. Kubera, Georg Northoff, Stefan Fritze, Mike M. Schmitgen, Fabio Sambataro, Vince D. Calhoun, Robert C. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Catatonia is a nosologically unspecific syndrome, which subsumes a plethora of mostly complex affective, motor, and behavioral phenomena. Although catatonia frequently occurs in schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD), specific patterns of abnormal brain structure and function underlying catatonia are unclear at present. Here, we used a multivariate data fusion technique for multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data to investigate patterns of aberrant intrinsic neural activity (INA) and gray matter volume (GMV) in SSD patients with and without catatonia. Resting-state functional MRI and structural MRI data were collected from 87 right-handed SSD patients. Catatonic symptoms were examined on the Northoff Catatonia Rating Scale (NCRS). A multivariate analysis approach was used to examine co-altered patterns of INA and GMV. Following a categorical approach, we found predominantly frontothalamic and corticostriatal abnormalities in SSD patients with catatonia (NCRS total score ≥ 3; n = 24) when compared to SSD patients without catatonia (NCRS total score = 0; n = 22) matched for age, gender, education, and medication. Corticostriatal network was associated with NCRS affective scores. Following a dimensional approach, 33 SSD patients with catatonia according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision were identified. NCRS behavioral scores were associated with a joint structural and functional system that predominantly included cerebellar and prefrontal/cortical motor regions. NCRS affective scores were associated with frontoparietal INA. This study provides novel neuromechanistic insights into catatonia in SSD suggesting co-altered structure/function-interactions in neural systems subserving coordinated visuospatial functions and motor behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-210
Number of pages9
JournalSchizophrenia Bulletin
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 4 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • catatonia
  • mCCA+jICA
  • motor symptoms
  • MRI
  • schizophrenia spectrum disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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