[Apathy, depression and cognitive functioning in patients with MCI and dementia].Tijdschr Gerontol Geriatr. 2018 Jun; 49(3):95-102.TG
In dementia, apathy and depression are often seen as one disorder because of the many overlapping symptoms. However, for therapy a correct differentiation is essential. Moreover, apathy and depression are likely both associated with different cognitive deficits and progression of the disease. In this research we give an overview of cognitive domains associated with apathy and depression in MCI patients and report how often both disorders occur in a population sample.
We administered the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) to 117 cognitively healthy controls (GC), 97 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 50 patients with dementia (DEM). In addition, the Apathy Evaluation Scale clinical version (AES-C) and the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) were administered.
The number of patients with apathy increased with cognitive decline with respectively 3.4%, 10.4% and 41.5% of patients in the GC, MCI and DEM group. The prevalence of isolated depression was highest in the MCI group (18.8%). Correlation analyses in the MCI group showed that apathy and not depression was associated with a deficit in encoding, attention and global cognitive functioning.
The prevalence of apathy and depressive symptoms is different in patients with MCI, DEM and GC, and within the MCI group apathy and depression are associated with different cognitive domains.