Apathy and white matter integrity in Alzheimer's disease: a whole brain analysis with tract-based spatial statistics

PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e53493. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053493. Epub 2013 Jan 3.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the microstructural alterations of white matter (WM) in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients with apathy and to observe the relationships with the severity of apathy. Sixty drug-naïve subjects took part in this study (30 apathetic and 30 nonapathetic subjects with AD). The loss of integrity in WM was compared in AD patients with and without apathy through measurement of fractional anisotropy (FA) using by tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS). In addition, we explored the correlation pattern between FA values and the severity of apathy in AD patients with apathy. The apathy group had significantly reduced FA values (p(corrected)<0.05) in the genu of the corpus callosum compared to the nonapathy group. The severity of apathy was negatively correlated with FA values of the left anterior and posterior cingulum, right superior longitudinal fasciculus, splenium, body and genu of the corpus callosum and bilateral uncinate fasciculusin the apathy group (p(corrected)<0.05). This study was the first to explore FA values in whole brain WM in AD patients with apathy. The findings of these microstructural alterations of WM may be the key to the understanding of underlying neurobiological mechanism and clinical significances of apathy in AD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology*
  • Anisotropy
  • Apathy*
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Corpus Callosum / metabolism
  • Corpus Callosum / physiopathology*
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Models, Statistical
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / pathology*
  • Reproducibility of Results

Grant support

This work was supported by a grant from the Next Generation BioGreen 21 Program (no. PJ007186), Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea. This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2012R1A1A2042339). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.