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Motor performance and motor induced brain activation are specifically influenced by schizophrenia as well as by typical and atypical neuroleptic treatment. A study combing fMRI and 3d Ultrasonic movement analyses
Motor symptoms including neurological soft signs have been found to be more prevalent in schizophrenic patients. The results of previous neuroimaging studies exploring motor function in patients with schizophrenia report inconsistently on decreased or normal brain activation. Major shortcomings of previous fMRI studies on motor activation in patients under neuroleptic agents are 1) untreated and treated patients were different subjects; thus, the results may be influenced by inter-individual differences. 2) the motor task was not standardized. 3) motor effects were only studied under fMRI conditions. We studied 6 schizophrenic patients before and after onset of treatment with amisulpride and 6 schizophrenic patients under typical neuroleptic treatment and after switch to amisulprid. We investigated standardized motor induced brain activation using fMRI and motor performance via 3d ultrasonic movement analyses.
Using the combination of these two methods, we detected specific disorder related as well as treatment induced changes of motor induced brain activation in cortical and subcortical motor pathways that were correlated with spatial and temporal parameters of fast repetitive movement measured by 3d Ultrasonic movement analyses.