Apathy is defined as a disorder of motivation that expresses itself at an emotional, cognitive and behavioural level. Apathy can occur as a symptom and a syndrome. In the recent years diagnostic criteria and a number of scales for measuring apathy in elderly with psychiatric or neurological disorders have been introduced. Two scales are specifically developed to measure apathy, the Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES) from Marin and the Apathy Scale (AS) from Starkstein. Both scales have been translated into Dutch. The AS is more convenient. The AS in addition can be used when applying the criteria for the apathy syndrome which has been introduced in 2001 by Starkstein. In addition, the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and the 'Gedragsobservatieschaal voor de Intramurale Psychogeriatrie' (GIP) (a scale in Dutch) have an apathy domain. Conceptual problems surrounding apathy have only partly been resolved. The criteria for the apathy syndrome can only be used for assessing the extent of the problem. Apathy and depression are strongly correlated. Studies show that apathy as a syndrome can occur without concomitant depression in the elderly, but regularly occurs besides a depressive disorder, in percentages varying between 9% and 53% of the population under study. Especially the varying validity of an apathy syndrome in relation to late life depression needs further clarification.
|Translated title of the contribution||Apathy syndrome: A clinical entity?|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Tijdschrift voor Gerontologie en Geriatrie|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2003|