Apathy associated with neurocognitive disorders: Recent progress and future directions

Krista L. Lanctôt*, Luis Agüera-Ortiz, Henry Brodaty, Paul T. Francis, Yonas E. Geda, Zahinoor Ismail, Gad A. Marshall, Moyra E. Mortby, Chiadi U. Onyike, Prasad R. Padala, Antonios M. Politis, Paul B. Rosenberg, Emma Siegel, David L. Sultzer, Eleenor H. Abraham

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    155 Citations (Scopus)


    Introduction Apathy is common in neurocognitive disorders (NCDs) such as Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment. Although the definition of apathy is inconsistent in the literature, apathy is primarily defined as a loss of motivation and decreased interest in daily activities. Methods The Alzheimer's Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer's Research and Treatment (ISTAART) Neuropsychiatric Syndromes Professional Interest Area (NPS-PIA) Apathy workgroup reviewed the latest research regarding apathy in NCDs. Results Progress has recently been made in three areas relevant to apathy: (1) phenomenology, including the use of diagnostic criteria and novel instruments for measurement, (2) neurobiology, including neuroimaging, neuropathological and biomarker correlates, and (3) interventions, including pharmacologic, nonpharmacologic, and noninvasive neuromodulatory approaches. Discussion Recent progress confirms that apathy has a significant impact on those with major NCD and those with mild NCDs. As such, it is an important target for research and intervention.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)84-100
    Number of pages17
    JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


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