Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Neuroradiology - Original Article

Resting-state fMRI analysis in apathetic Alzheimer's disease


Department of Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry Unit, İstanbul University İstanbul School of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey


Department of Physiology, İstanbul Medipol University International School of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey


Regenerative and Restorative Medicine Research Center (REMER), Istanbul University, İstanbul, Turkey


Department of Neurology, Behavioral Neurology and Movement Disorders Unit, İstanbul University İstanbul School of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey


Hulusi Behcet Life Sciences Laboratory, Istanbul University, İstanbul, Turkey

Diagn Interv Radiol 2020; 26: 363-369
DOI: 10.5152/dir.2019.19445
Read: 842 Downloads: 309 Published: 28 May 2020


Diagnosis of comorbid psychiatric conditions are a significant determinant for the prognosis of neurodegenerative diseases. Apathy, which is a behavioral executive dysfunction, frequently accompanies Alzheimer's disease (AD) and leads to higher daily functional loss. We assume that frontal lobe hypofunction in apathetic AD patients are more apparent than the AD patients without apathy. This study aims to address the neuroanatomical correlates of apathy in the early stage of AD using task-free functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).



Patients (n=20) were recruited from the Neurology and Psychiatry Departments of İstanbul University, İstanbul School of Medicine whose first referrals were 6- to 12-month history of progressive cognitive decline. Patients with clinical dementia rating 0.5 and 1 were included in the study. The patient group was divided into two subgroups as apathetic and non-apathetic AD according to their psychiatric examination and assessment scores. A healthy control group was also included (n=10). All subjects underwent structural and functional MRI. The resting-state condition was recorded eyes open for 5 minutes.



The difference between the three groups came up in the pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pgACC) at the trend level (P = 0.056). Apathetic AD group showed the most constricted activation area at pgACC.



The region in and around anterior default mode network (pgACC) seems to mediate motivation to initiate behavior, and this function appears to weaken as the apathy becomes more severe in AD.


You may cite this article as: Büyükgök D, Bayraktaroğlu Z, Buker HS, Baral Kulaksızoğlu MI, Gurvit İH. Resting-state fMRI analysis in apathetic Alzheimer's disease. Diagn Interv Radiol 2020; 26:363–369.

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