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Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of Apathy in Alzheimer’s Disease
Hongyi Zhao, M.D.; Weijun Tang, M.D.; Xueyuan Xu, M.D.; Zhongxin Zhao, M.D.; Liuqing Huang, M.D.
The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 2014;26:134-141. doi:10.1176/appi.neuropsych.12110261
View Author and Article Information

The authors report no financial relationships with commercial interests.

This work was supported by [Shanghai Science and Technology Commission Issues], Grant Number [08411950800 and 08411950700].

From the Dept. of Neurology, Changzheng Hospital, Second Military Medical University of PLA, Shanghai, PR China (HZ, ZZ, LH), the Department of Radiology, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, PR China (WT), and the Department of Radiology, Changzheng Hospital, Second Military Medical University of PLA, Shanghai, PR China (XX).

Correspondence: Dr. Liuqing Huang; e-mail: huangliuqing2008@hotmail.com

Presented at the 15th Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) and the 2012 Annual Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease Chinese (ADC), hosted by the Chinese PLA General Hospital, October 25–28, 2012, in Beijing, China.

Copyright © 2014 by the American Psychiatric Association

Received November 04, 2012; Revised January 25, 2013; Revised February 24, 2013; Accepted February 25, 2013.

Abstract

An fMRI study was launched to understand mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients with apathy. The authors reviewed seven AD patients with apathy and six AD patients without apathy. The block method was adopted, and 24 pictures representing positive, negative, and neutral emotional stimuli were viewed when patients were given brain fMRI. Under “sad versus neutral” stimulation, non-apathetic AD patients had increased activity in bilateral amygdala and bilateral fusiform gyrus, whereas apathetic AD patients only had increased activities in bilateral fusiform gyrus. Thus, the amygdala was the possible anatomical structure related to apathy in AD patients.

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FIGURE 1. Overlapping MRI Images in Response to Three Different Facial Expressions

FIGURE 2. Regional Brain Activation in Response to Different Kinds of Facial Expression Stimuli

[A] Regional brain activation in response to sad versus neutral stimuli in Alzheimer disease (AD) patients without apathy; [B] Regional brain activation in response to sad versus neutral stimuli in AD patients with apathy; [C] Regional brain activation in response to happy versus neutral stimuli in AD patients without apathy; [D] Regional brain activation in response to happy versus neutral stimuli in AD patients with apathy.

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TABLE 1.Overall Characteristics of Subjects
Table Footer Note

Values are mean (standard deviation), unless otherwise indicated.

Table Footer Note

*Significant at p<0.05.

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TABLE 2.Apathy Versus Non-Apathy Patients on Subscales of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory
Table Footer Note

Values are mean (standard deviation), unless otherwise indicated.

Table Footer Note

*Significant at p <0.05.

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