Apathy in presymptomatic genetic frontotemporal dementia pre
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Apathy is a common and disabling feature of frontotemporal dementia (FTD). It is part of the diagnostic criteria for behavioral variant of FTD. Apathy is a multifaceted construct that describes dysfunctional goal-directed behavior, arising from affective, behavioral, and cognitive impairments. FTD has been associated with concurrent affective, behavioral, and cognitive apathy symptoms, which worsen the prognosis in terms of survival, disability and functional independence.

Researchers test whether apathy develops in presymptomatic genetic FTD, and is associated with cognitive decline and brain atrophy. Presymptomatic carriers of MAPT, GRN or C9orf72 mutations (N = 304), and relatives without mutations (N = 296) underwent clinical assessments and MRI at baseline, and annually for 2 years. Longitudinal changes in apathy, cognition, gray matter volumes, and their relationships were analyzed with latent growth curve modeling.

Results:
Apathy severity increased over time in presymptomatic carriers, but not in non-carriers. In presymptomatic carriers, baseline apathy predicted cognitive decline over two years, but not vice versa. Apathy progression was associated with baseline low gray matter volume in frontal and cingulate regions

In particular, Apathy is an early marker of FTD-related changes and predicts a subsequent subclinical deterioration of cognition before dementia onset. Apathy may be a modifiable factor in those at risk of FTD.

Source: https://alz-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/alz.12252
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