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Journal Article

Grey matter changes in motor conversion disorder


Draganski,  Bogdan
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Département des Neurosciences Cliniques, Laboratoire de Recherche en Neuroimagerie (LREN), Centre hospitalier universitaire vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland;
Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany;

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Aybek, S., Nicholson, T. R. J., Draganski, B., Daly, E., Murphy, D. G., David, A. S., et al. (2014). Grey matter changes in motor conversion disorder. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 85(2), 236-238. doi:10.1136/jnnp-2012-304158.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0024-518B-A
Objective: To detect anatomical differences in areas related to motor processing between patients with motor conversion disorder (CD) and controls.

Methods: T1-weighted 3T brain MRI data of 15 patients suffering from motor CD (nine with hemiparesis and six with paraparesis) and 25 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers were compared using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and voxel-based cortical thickness (VBCT) analysis.

Results: We report significant cortical thickness (VBCT) increases in the bilateral premotor cortex of hemiparetic patients relative to controls and a trend towards increased grey matter volume (VBM) in the same region. Regression analyses showed a non-significant positive correlation between cortical thickness changes and symptom severity as well as illness duration in CD patients.

Conclusions: Cortical thickness increases in premotor cortical areas of patients with hemiparetic CD provide evidence for altered brain structure in a condition with presumed normal brain anatomy. These may either represent premorbid vulnerability or a plasticity phenomenon related to the disease with the trends towards correlations with clinical variables supporting the latter.