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Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2006 Dec;108(8):733-6. Epub 2006 Mar 29.

Apathy in patients with mild cognitive impairment and the risk of developing dementia of Alzheimer's disease: a one-year follow-up study.

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Centre Mémoire de Ressources et de Recherche, CHU de Nice, INSERM JE 2441, France.



To evaluate the relation between apathy and development of dementia in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI).


Two hundred and fifty-one French-speaking outpatients fulfilling the criteria of amnestic MCI were enrolled. Apathy was assessed with the Apathy Inventory (IA). Neuropsychiatric evaluation also included the Goldberg anxiety scale and the Montgomery and Asberg Depressive Rating Scale (MADRS). The main end point considered after a 1-year follow-up was the development of dementia of Alzheimer type (DAT).


At baseline there were 86 (39.8%) subjects presenting at least one symptom of apathy among the 216 included in analysis. After a 1-year follow-up, 22 patients developed DAT. Of the patients with apathy at baseline 13 (15.1%) developed DAT in comparison with 9 (6.9%) of the non-apathetic patients. At the 1-year follow-up, patients developing DAT had a significantly higher frequency of apathetic symptoms (91.7%) than patients without DAT (26.9%).


Taking into account that apathy is one of the most frequently observed neuropsychiatric symptoms in MCI and in DAT the present study suggests that patients with MCI and apathy should be more closely observed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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