Motor System Pathology in Psychosis

Sebastian Walther*, Vijay A. Mittal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

19 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Motor abnormalities are an intrinsic feature of psychosis. Neurological soft signs, Parkinsonism, dyskinesia, and other motor phenomena are frequently observed in subjects at clinical or genetic risk for psychosis as well as first-episode patients, chronic patients. Here, we review the most recent literature on motor assessments and pathophysiology in psychosis. Recent Findings: Instrumental measures of fine motor performance, balance, spontaneous motor activity, and gesture indicated motor abnormalities in subjects at risk and across stages of schizophrenia. Motor phenomena are associated with distinct symptom dimensions and may indicate poor outcomes. Neuroimaging studies demonstrated altered neural maturation within critical motor networks in subjects at risk. Furthermore, specific categories of motor dysfunction were associated with distinct structural and functional alterations in the motor system in schizophrenia. Summary: Motor abnormalities provide a unique window into the pathobiology of psychosis and have the potential to guide screening, staging, and outcome prediction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number97
JournalCurrent psychiatry reports
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Motor
  • Movement abnormality
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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