Background: Apathy and depression are behavioral manifestations that may occur often in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. AD patients may also show Closing-in (CI) phenomenon, in graphic copying tasks. Recent evidence would suggest that apathetic symptoms are related to frontal dysfunctions in AD patients, whereas the cognitive bases of depressive symptoms in AD are still unclear. Recent studies demonstrated that frontal dysfunctions are also involved in the genesis of CI in AD patients.
Objective: Since frontal dysfunctions are thought to be more strongly related to apathetic than depressive symptoms, here we tested the hypothesis that CI is significantly associated with apathy in AD patients.
Methods: Forty-four AD patients were enrolled for this study. All patients completed a neuropsychological evaluation of visuo-spatial, frontal/executive, visuo-constructional, and memory skills. Moreover, graphic copying tasks were employed to detect CI, and behavioral scales to assess apathetic and depressive symptoms.
Results: CI and apathetic and depressed symptoms occurred in more than half of the present AD sample, but regression models revealed that the number of CI was significantly related to apathy only. The number of CI was also significantly correlated with severity of apathetic but not of depressive symptoms.
Conclusion: The present study demonstrated that CI and apathy are correlated with each other in mild to moderate AD, likely because they share common pathogenic mechanisms related to frontal/executive dysfunctions.
- Alzheimer's disease
- frontal defect
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Geriatrics and Gerontology
- Clinical Psychology