Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research

Apathy in the Elderly: From Assessment to Treatment

Publishing date
08 Jun 2012
Submission deadline
20 Jan 2012

Lead Editor
Guest Editors

1Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, The University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK

2Centre Memoire de Ressources et de Recherche, CHU, Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, Antipolis, France

Apathy in the Elderly: From Assessment to Treatment


In a clinical context, the term “apathy” refers to a clustering of behavioural and emotional symptoms that manifest as diminished interest and involvement in normal purposeful behaviour, flattened affect, diminished emotional responsivity, lack of initiation of nonroutine activity, and diminished drive to complete activities once started. Apathy may be one of the most common behavioural complications of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, and it is one of the most underrecognized, underdiagnosed, and poorly managed aspects of these diseases. The consequences of apathy may be significant and may impact negatively on prognosis, quality of life, level of disability, and carer burden and distress. Management strategies thus far have not been extensively investigated.

A better understanding of apathy in the elderly is necessary in order to further elucidate the impact of degenerative diseases on aspects of behaviour, as well as to enhance quality of life of patients and carers. We therefore invite authors to submit original research and review articles that seek to explore aspects of apathy in the elderly in relation to normal aging, as a comorbid state with other primary mental health problems, and in the context of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. In particular, aspects of apathy, including its epidemiology, definitions, method of diagnosis and rating, underlying pathology, and the impact that it has on patients and their carers will be considered as part of this special issue. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Application of apathy diagnostic criteria in different settings
  • Phenomenology of apathy
  • Pathophysiology of apathy
  • Cognitive and behavioural aspects of apathy
  • The link between apathy and depression
  • The application of new technologies in the assessment and management of apathy
  • Biomarkers associated with apathy
  • Longitudinal outcome of apathy
  • Risk factors predisposing to the development of apathy
  • Prognostic significance of apathy
  • The impact on apathy on carer burden, quality of life, and level of disability
  • Management of apathy: nonpharmacological and pharmacological

Before submission authors should carefully read over the journal's Author Guidelines, which are located at Prospective authors should submit an electronic copy of their complete manuscript through the journal Manuscript Tracking System at according to the following timetable:

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