What is it about?

Catatonia is a rare but serious psychiatric disorder. This is the largest study looking at the reports of MRI scans from patients with catatonia. We found that most abnormalities were on both sides of the brain, involved the surface of the brain (the cortex) and involved atrophy (a decrease in size of brain areas). However, we didn't find any evidence that these brain abnormalities were any more common in catatonia than in other psychiatric patients.

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Why is it important?

There have been lots of small studies suggesting that damage to small individual parts of the brain might be responsible for catatonia. We found that the brain abnormalities in catatonia are usually subtle and spread out over the brain.

Perspectives

Our results suggest that catatonia might be related to dysfunction of networks spread across the brain, rather than damage to very specific brian regions.

Jonathan Rogers
University College London

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This page is a summary of: Clinical Neuroimaging Findings in Catatonia: Neuroradiological Reports of MRI Scans of Psychiatric Inpatients With and Without Catatonia, Journal of Neuropsychiatry, October 2022, American Psychiatric Association, DOI: 10.1176/appi.neuropsych.21070181.
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