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Brain Inj. 2006 Feb;20(2):157-60.

Reduced daytime activity in patients with acquired brain damage and apathy: a study with ambulatory actigraphy.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Leipzig, Germany. um207@cam.ac.uk

Abstract

PRIMARY OBJECTIVE:

Apathy is difficult to assess in clinical practice. Ambulatory actigraphy was used with the aim to measure locomotor activity during the daytime as a correlate of self-initiated action in brain-damaged patients with apathy.

RESEARCH DESIGN:

Twenty-four patients with acquired brain damage and high levels of apathy or low levels of apathy as well as 12 healthy controls were investigated using a parallel group design.

METHODS AND PROCEDURES:

Apathy was diagnosed after clinical observation and evaluated with the apathy evaluation scale. Locomotor activity was measured with a wrist-worn actigraph over 3 days.

RESULTS:

High apathy patients showed significantly reduced locomotor activity and more episodes of inactivity (naps) during the daytime. Self-rated apathy correlated with daytime activity, nap frequency and cognitive (executive) deficits.

CONCLUSIONS:

Ambulatory actigraphy is a promising method to evaluate self-initiated action in patients with apathy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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