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Apathy in Alzheimer's disease

Antônio Lúcio Teixeira-Jr Paulo Caramelli About the authors

Apathy is the most common neuropsychiatry syndrome in Alzheimer's disease affecting 30-60% of patients. It can be defined as a loss of motivation and manifests in affect, cognition and behavioral changes, determining blunted emotional response, lack of insight and social retraction, respectively. In this paper, the clinical features and the therapeutic perspectives of apathy are presented. There is considerable overlap between apathy and depression in Alzheimer's disease, but both are considered discrete syndromes. Pharmacological interventions for apathy include psychostimulants, such as methylphenidate, dopaminergic agents and cholinesterase inhibitors, but the results are controversial and there is no established treatment.

Alzheimer's disease; Comorbidity; Apathy; Depression; Combined modality therapy


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