Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria
On-line version ISSN 1678-4227
GUIMARAES, Henrique Cerqueira et al. Neurobiology of apathy in Alzheimer's disease. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 2008, vol.66, n.2b, pp. 436-443. ISSN 1678-4227. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0004-282X2008000300035.
Apathy is considered the most frequent neuropsychiatric disturbance in dementia and its outcome is generally deleterious. Apathy can be related to a dysfunction of the anatomical-system that supports the generation of voluntary actions, namely the prefrontal cortex and/or the prefrontal-subcortical circuits. In Alzheimer's disease, pathological and neuroimaging data indicate that apathy is likely due to a dysfunction of the medial prefrontal cortex. Accordingly, in this review article, we propose a pathophysiological model to explain apathetic behavior in Alzheimer's disease, combining data from neuroimaging, neuropathology and experimental research on the role of orbito-frontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, basal ganglia and dopamine in decision-making neurobiology.
Keywords : apathy; Alzheimer's disease; decision-making; orbito-frontal cortex; anterior cingulate cortex; basal ganglia; dopamine.