Friday 30 October 2020
News ID: 83933
Publish Date: 17 October 2020 - 22:09
SAN FRANCISCO (Dispatches) -- Older adults with severe apathy, or lack of interest in usual activities, may have a greater chance of developing dementia than people with few symptoms of apathy, according to a new study.
"Apathy can be very distressing for family members, when people no longer want to get together with family or friends or don’t seem interested in what they used to enjoy,” said study author Meredith Bock, M.D., of the University of California, San Francisco. "More research is needed, but it’s possible that these are signs that people may be at risk for Alzheimer’s disease and could benefit from early interventions and efforts to reduce other risk factors.”
The study involved 2,018 adults with an average age of 74. None had dementia. At the start of the study, researchers measured apathy using a survey with questions such as "In the past four weeks, how often have you been interested in leaving your home and going out?” and "In the past 4 weeks, how often have you been interested in doing your usual activities?” Participants were then divided into three groups: those with low, moderate and severe apathy. After nine years, researchers determined who had dementia by looking at medication use, hospital records and results on cognitive tests.

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