Catatonia is a psychomotor syndrome with motor and behavioral abnormalities which may be due to alterations in fronto-parietal cortical function. We therefore investigated neuropsychological tasks (attention, executive, visual-spatial, working memory) associated with frontal and parietal cortical function. Thirteen catatonic patients, diagnosed as catatonic according to criteria by Rosebush and Bush, were compared with 13 psychiatric non-catatonic controls (matched with regard to underlying psychiatric diagnosis, age, sex, and medication), and 13 age- and sex- matched healthy controls. Catatonics showed significantly poorer performances and different neuropsychological intercorrelation patterns in visual-spatial object perception (VOSPobject) than psychiatric and healthy controls. In addition, we found significant correlations between catatonic symptoms, visual-spatial abilities, and attentional measures (i.e., d2, CWI). Catatonia was characterized by specific visual-spatial deficits which are related to attentional abilities and right parietal cortical function. The data suggest attentional-motor and fronto-parietal dysfunction in catatonia, a conclusion which should be considered as preliminary, however, due to the small sample size.
ASJC Scopus subject areas