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J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2015 Winter;27(1):e22-7. doi: 10.1176/appi.neuropsych.13060141. Epub 2014 Nov 10.

Apathy is associated with lower inferior temporal cortical thickness in mild cognitive impairment and normal elderly individuals.

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From the Harvard Medical School (BG, NJD, REA, DMR, KAJ, RAS, GAM); Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment (BG, NJD, NL, REA, DMR, KAJ, RAS, GAM); Dept. of Neurology (NJD, AW, NL, REA DMR, KAJ, RAS, GAM) and Dept. of Psychiatry (NJD, REA, DMR) Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA; Dept. of Neurology (AW, AS, NL, REA, DMR, KAJ, RAS, GAM) and Dept. of Radiology (KAJ), Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA.


Apathy is a common neuropsychiatric symptom in Alzheimer's disease dementia and amnestic mild cognitive impairment and is associated with cortical atrophy in Alzheimer's disease dementia. This study investigated possible correlations between apathy and cortical atrophy in 47 individuals with mild cognitive impairment and 19 clinically normal elderly. Backward elimination multivariate linear regression was used to evaluate the cross-sectional relationship between scores on the Apathy Evaluation Scale and thickness of several cortical regions and covariates. Lower inferior temporal cortical thickness was predictive of greater apathy. Greater anterior cingulate cortical thickness was also predictive of greater apathy, suggesting an underlying reactive process.

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