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A review of neuroimaging findings of apathy in Alzheimer's disease

  • Christos Theleritis (a1) (a2) (a3), Antonios Politis (a1) (a4), Kostas Siarkos (a1) and Costantine G. Lyketsos (a4)

Apathy is one of the most frequent “behavioral and psychological signs and symptoms of dementia” (BPSD) encountered in Alzheimer's disease (AD). There is a growing interest in the early diagnosis of apathetic elderly patients in the community since apathy has been associated with reduced daily functioning, caregiver distress, and poor outcome. The generalization of neuroimaging techniques might be able to offer help in this domain.

Methods: Within this context we conducted an extensive electronic search from the databases included in the National Library of Medicine as well as PsychInfo and Google Scholar for neuroimaging findings of apathy in AD.


Neuroimaging findings lend support to the notion that frontal-subcortical networks are involved in the occurrence of apathy in AD.

Conclusions: Longitudinal studies comparing patients and normal individuals might allow us to infer on the association between apathy and neurodegenerative diseases and what can brain imaging markers tell us about the characterization of this association, thus revealing disease patterns, helping to distinguish clinically distinct cognitive syndromes, and allowing predictions.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: Christos Theleritis, MD, 1st Psychiatry Department, University of Athens Medical School, Eginition Hopsital, 72–74 Vas. Sofias Avenue, 11528 Athens, Greece. Phone: +30 210 7289324. Email:;
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International Psychogeriatrics
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