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Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2007;24(1):65-72. Epub 2007 Jun 11.

A SPECT study of apathy in Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont., Canada. krista.lanctot@sunnybrook.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS:

To assess the association between regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) and apathy in Alzheimer's Disease (AD).

METHODS:

SPECT and MRI scans were obtained from 51 nondepressed outpatients meeting criteria for probable AD (age 77.6 +/- 6.6 years; MMSE 22.3 +/- 5.1; 23 apathetic, 28 nonapathetic) and 23 healthy elderly (75.6 +/- 3.8 years) controls. The following regions of interest (ROIs) were compared between apathetic and nonapathetic AD patients and then referenced against aged controls: anterior cingulate, orbitofrontal cortex, middle medial temporal cortex, hippocampus, medial superior temporal cortex, thalamus/hypothalamus and pons.

RESULTS:

Apathetic and nonapathetic patients had significant differences in rCBF. Relative to nonapathetic AD patients, apathetic AD patients had lower perfusion in 2 ROIs (right orbitofrontal cortex and left anterior cingulate) and higher perfusion in 5 ROIs (right and left hippocampi, left medial superior temporal gyrus, and right and left middle medial temporal cortex). Comparison of rCBF in these 7 ROIs to healthy elderly controls confirmed hypoperfusion in the left anterior cingulate and right orbitofrontal cortex and suggested a relative sparing of perfusion among apathetic AD patients in the remaining 5 ROIs.

CONCLUSIONS:

In this group of nondepressed patients with AD, apathetic subjects displayed significant perfusion differences compared to nonapathetic subjects.

Copyright (c) 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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