Apathy following stroke.

Department of Psychiatry, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, 52242, USA. <>
Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie (Impact Factor: 2.41). 06/2010; 55(6):350-4.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We will review the available evidence on the frequency, clinical correlates, mechanism, and treatment of apathy following stroke.
We have explored relevant databases (that is, PubMed, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO) using the following key words and their combinations: apathy, motivation, abulia, stroke, cerebrovascular disease, basal ganglia, prefrontal cortex, anterior cerebral infarction, and thalamus.
The frequency of apathy following stroke has been consistently estimated between 20% and 25%. It appears to be associated with the presence of cognitive impairment, a chronic course characterized by progressive functional decline, and with disruption of neural networks connecting the anterior cingulate gyrus, the dorsomedial frontal cortex, and the frontal pole with the ventral aspects of the caudate nucleus, the anterior and ventral globus pallidus, and the dorsomedian and intralaminar thalamic nuclei. Published treatment studies have been mostly limited to anecdotal case reports, generally using dopamine agonists or stimulant medications. Cholinesterase inhibitors and nefiracetam may significantly reduce apathetic symptoms. However, their efficacy was examined in relatively small clinical trials that require replication.
Apathy is a frequent neuropsychiatric complication of stroke that, although often associated with depression and cognitive impairment, may occur independently of both. Its presence has been consistently associated with greater functional decline. However, there is no conclusive evidence about which is the best treatment for this condition.

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    ABSTRACT: Background Functional imaging and lesion studies have associated willed behavior with anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Abulia is a syndrome characterized by apathy and deficiency of motivated behavior. Abulia is most frequently associated with ACC damage, but also occurs following damage to subcortical nuclei (striatum, globus pallidus, thalamic nuclei). We present resting state functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI) data from an individual who suffered a stroke leading to abulia. We hypothesized that, although structural imaging revealed no damage to the patient’s ACC, fcMRI would uncover aberrant function in this region and in the relevant cortical networks. Methods Resting state correlations in the patient’s gray matter were compared to those of age-matched controls. Using a novel method to identify abnormal patterns of functional connectivity in single subjects, we identified areas and networks with aberrant connectivity. Results Networks associated with memory (default mode network) and executive function (cingulo-opercular network) were abnormal. The patient’s anterior cingulate was among the areas showing aberrant functional connectivity. In a rescan 3 years later, deficits remained stable and fcMRI findings were replicated. Conclusions These findings suggest that the aberrant functional connectivity mapping approach described may be useful for linking stroke symptoms to disrupted network connectivity.
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to reveal the structural basis of post-ischaemic stroke apathy, especially in relation to disruptions in structural connectivity.
    European Journal of Neurology 10/2014; · 3.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To explore the structural basis of post-stroke apathy by using voxel-based analysis (VBA) of fractional anisotropy (FA) maps. We enrolled 54 consecutive patients with ischemic stroke during convalescence, and divided them into apathy (n = 31) and non-apathy (n = 23) groups. We obtained magnetic resonance images of their brains, including T1, T2 and DTI sequences. Age, sex, education level, Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD) scores, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) scores, and infarct locations for the two groups were compared. Finally, to investigate the structural basis of post-stroke apathy, VBA of FA maps was performed in which we included the variables that a univariate analysis determined had P-values less than 0.20 as covariates. HAMD (P = 0.01) and MMSE (P<0.01) scores differed significantly between the apathy and non-apathy groups. After controlling for age, education level, HAMD scores, and MMSE scores, significant FA reduction was detected in four clusters with peak voxels at the genu of the corpus callosum (X = -16, Y = 30, Z = 8), left anterior corona radiata (-22, 30, 10), splenium of the corpus callosum (-24, -56, 18), and right inferior frontal gyrus white matter (52, 24, 18), after family-wise error correction for multiple comparisons. Post-stroke apathy is related to depression and cognitive decline. Damage to the genu of the corpus callosum, left anterior corona radiata, splenium of the corpus callosum, and white matter in the right inferior frontal gyrus may lead to apathy after ischemic stroke.
    PLoS ONE 01/2015; 10(1):e116168. · 3.53 Impact Factor