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Association between apathy/depression and executive function in patients with Alzheimer's disease

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 May 2008

Shutaro Nakaaki*
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Cognitive-Behavioral Medicine, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya, Japan
Yoshie Murata
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Cognitive-Behavioral Medicine, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya, Japan
Junko Sato
Affiliation:
Yagoto Hospital, Nagoya, Japan
Yoshihiro Shinagawa
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Cognitive-Behavioral Medicine, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya, Japan
Jin Hongo
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Cognitive-Behavioral Medicine, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya, Japan
Hiroshi Tatsumi
Affiliation:
Nagoya Daini Red Cross Hospital, Nagoya, Japan
Nobutsugu Hirono
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Kobegakuin University, Kobe, Japan
Masaru Mimura
Affiliation:
Department of Neuropsychiatry, Showa University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
Toshiaki A. Furukawa
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Cognitive-Behavioral Medicine, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya, Japan
*
Correspondence should be addressed to: Clinical Professor Shutaro Nakaaki, Department of Psychiatry and Cognitive-Behavioral Medicine, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Mizuho-cho, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya 467-8601, Japan. Phone: +81 52 853 8271; Fax: +81 52 852 0837. Email: hzi05510@nifty.com.

Abstract

Background: Apathy and depression may be strongly associated with executive dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB) is an instrument for assessing executive function. The dual task paradigm is also useful for assessing divided attention. However, the association between apathy/depression and these tasks is unclear.

Methods: Both the FAB and the dual task were used to evaluate AD patients. A two-way analysis of variance was then conducted between the FAB and dual task results and the absence versus the presence of depression or the absence versus the presence of apathy.

Results: Of 88 patients with AD, 26 had both apathy and depression, 26 had depression only, 18 had apathy only, and 18 had neither. Total FAB scores and dual task scores differed significantly between the AD patients with depression and those without depression; the scores were also different between those with apathy and those without apathy. Also, a significant interaction between depression and apathy was noted for the total FAB and dual task scores.

Conclusions: The deficits in the total FAB and dual task scores were larger in AD patients with both apathy and depression compared with patients with either apathy or depression alone. AD patients with both symptoms may have greater deficits in frontal lobe function relative to AD patients with either apathy or depression alone.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2008

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