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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 436251, 5 pages
Review Article

Apathy as Marker of Frail Status

1Clinica Neurologica, Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Università di Roma “Tor Vergata”, Via Montpellier, 00133 Rome, Italy
2IRCCS Santa Lucia, Via Ardeatina, 00179 Rome, Italy

Received 15 July 2011; Accepted 15 November 2011

Academic Editor: John Knight

Copyright © 2012 Roberta Semprini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Frailty is a complex and dynamic condition associated with aging. This condition is characterised by the difficult adaptation of an old subject to new challenges occurring during life. Frailty is supposed to be due to the progressive decrease of physiological reserves and multiorgan and multisystem change. It coincides with a reduced or absent resilience. In general comorbidities like hypertension, heart disease, inflammation and infectious diseases are potential risk factors for and psychophysical decline. The aim of this work is to highlight the importance of impaired cognition as factor predisposing to frailty. The authors are convinced and suggest that the presence of neurobehavioral disturbance like apathy associated to impaired executive function could be the major predisposing factor for frailty and unsuccessful aging. Unfortunately available literature largely underestimates the presence of these factors. Thus to better identify markers of frailty, a good neuropsychological assessment and the evaluation of behavioural disturbances are suggested.