Neuroanatomical Abnormalities in Older Depressed Adults With Apathy: A Systematic Review.

TitleNeuroanatomical Abnormalities in Older Depressed Adults With Apathy: A Systematic Review.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsPimontel MA, Kanellopoulos D, Gunning FM
JournalJ Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol
Date Published2020 09
KeywordsAged, Aged, 80 and over, Apathy, Brain, Depression, Female, Humans, Male, Neuroimaging

OBJECTIVE: Apathy is a common phenomenon in late-life depression and is associated with poor outcomes. Apathy is often unrecognized in older depressed adults, and efficacious treatment options are lacking. This review provides a systematic review of the neuroanatomical abnormalities associated with apathy in late-life depression. In addition, the review summarizes the neuroimaging findings from studies of neurodegenerative and focal brain injury conditions that frequently present with apathy. The goal is to elucidate cerebral network abnormalities that give rise to apathy in older adults with mood disturbances and to inform future treatment targets.

METHOD: Systematic literature review.

RESULTS: The few studies that have directly examined the neuroanatomical abnormalities of apathy in late-life depression suggest disturbances in the anterior cingulate cortex, insula, orbital and dorsal prefrontal cortex, striatum, and limbic structures (ie, amygdala, thalamus, and hippocampus). Studies examining the neuroanatomical correlates of apathy in other aging populations are consistent with the pattern observed in late-life depression.

CONCLUSIONS: Apathy in late-life depression appears to be accompanied by neuroanatomical abnormalities in the salience and reward networks. These network findings are consistent with that observed in individuals presenting with apathy in other aging-related conditions. These findings may inform future treatments that target apathy.

Alternate JournalJ Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol
PubMed ID31635522