home
RSS
Apathy in older folks could signal shrinking brain
April 16th, 2014
04:13 PM ET

Apathy in older folks could signal shrinking brain

Being apathetic is usually defined as showing a lack of enthusiasm or energy. Most people who experience it say they just aren’t motivated to do anything.

Although anyone in any age group can become apathetic, it has been well documented that apathy tends to affect those in their golden years. Now scientists believe that an elderly person’s lack of emotion and indifference to the world could be a sign his or her brain is shrinking.

A study published Wednesday in the journal Neurology, and funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Aging, found that older folks, who are apathetic - but not depressed - may be suffering from smaller brain volumes than those without apathy.

Researchers looked at more than 4,300 people from the Netherlands, with an average age of 76, who did not have dementia. All underwent brain MRI scans and were later asked questions that measured their apathy symptoms, such as lack of interest in things, giving up activities they once enjoyed and a lack of energy.

Scientists at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands found that people with two or more of these symptoms had 1.4% smaller gray matter and 1.6% less white matter in their brains than those who showed little or no apathy. Gray matter is where memories and learning are stored in the brain, while white matter is the part of the brain that controls its communication system.

"Just as signs of memory loss may signal brain changes related to brain disease, apathy may indicate underlying changes," says study author Lenore J. Launer with the National Institute on Aging and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. "Apathy symptoms are common in older people without dementia. And the fact that participants in our study had apathy without depression should turn our attention to how apathy alone could indicate brain disease."

Although the findings are interesting, to some doctors they are not surprising. Dr. Marc Dalton of Dalton Psychiatry in Washington says he sees apathy in a number of his elderly patients. He believes the new findings could give him better insight on ways to approach their treatment.

“I think you have to look at how this may alter the way we view those with severe apathetic tendencies," he says. "Are these people giving up, or are they just tired? Can they still function, able to enjoy life at times, or is their apathy caused by something more serious?"

Study authors agree more research needs to be done. But the data does seem to show, they say, that apathy in older people could signal something more than just moodiness.

"If these findings are confirmed, identifying people with apathy earlier may be one way to target an at-risk group," notes Launer.

“The brain is still the final frontier,” says Dalton. “Taking this information and expanding on the research could lead to even more insight into how (brain) development can affect us mentally and physically.”


soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Sounds like

    Sounds like they should smoke some weed!!!

    April 16, 2014 at 16:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eddie Bob

      Apathy? Who cares!

      April 17, 2014 at 16:33 | Report abuse |
    • strlaportxcbxcb

      .Are you still single ? You are not alone. Free join~~~ ♥ MixëdLuv.Ćom ♥ ~~ Millions of singles have joined it.. This is a Serious interracial dating site for black and white singles seeking relationships, friendships, dating ,love and more. Single black people meeting single white people is why we are here. Hundreds of new interracial singles who same as you join here everyday. vvvvvvvvvvvv

      April 19, 2014 at 11:21 | Report abuse |
  2. Jack Brown

    Interesting to know that epathy symptoms are common in older people without dementia. I was diagnosed with Parkinsons Diseas two years ago and my neurologist thinks that I have dipression. It is true that finding out that you hae Parkinsons Disease can make a person dipressed. I am indifferent to emotions and lack interests in what is going on in the world. Now I find that this is due to abnormal brain. Neurologists are finding out that it's more than just moodiness. To people with Parkinsons Diseas the situation is hopeless.

    April 17, 2014 at 01:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Have you

      Have you tried weed?

      April 17, 2014 at 08:37 | Report abuse |
    • CINTI JACK

      To HAVE YOU: Weed tas a treatment for Apathy? Are you high?

      April 17, 2014 at 08:48 | Report abuse |
    • Have you

      No. Just wondering if weed could help someone with Parkinsons. Or maybe even someone who doesn't read very well.

      April 17, 2014 at 11:27 | Report abuse |
  3. Farrok

    In a world like this one who would guess? By the time you are 60 or 70 you have been tarred and feathered, boiled in oil and burned at the stake. It's bound to have an effect.

    April 17, 2014 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Lojack

    It's just because they've seen all the BS so many times over and over that they just quit caring.

    April 17, 2014 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • antoniodelaossa

      I think you hit the nail on the head! I'm pushing 60 and that is exactly how I feel!

      April 17, 2014 at 20:32 | Report abuse |
  5. Taisha Demattia

    casino online

    http://www.ci0rC4NVL0.com/ci0rC4NVL0

    October 2, 2016 at 10:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Filiberto Hinshaw

    Great information. I found thechart.blogs.cnn.com by chance (stumbleupon).I have book-marked it for later!

    http://princess-halation.tumblr.com

    January 2, 2017 at 20:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Toptunez.com

    Check out

    Naira Marley ft Zlatan Am I a Yahoo Boy

    May 13, 2019 at 10:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Gabrielfet

    https://bit.ly/2I3ZL7m – Meet, be inspired, communicate and continue flirting! Follow the link

    https://bit.ly/3pqNrie
    – Meet, be inspired, communicate and continue flirting! Follow the link

    @@@==

    November 30, 2020 at 10:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Arnold

    It's going to be end of mine day, however before ending I am reading this great piece of
    writing to improve my know-how.

    Feel free to surf to my site :: baccarat online

    January 12, 2021 at 01:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. anton

    Ι do believe all the concepts уou've introduced on your post.
    Ƭhey are very convincing and can certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are verʏ quick for
    newbies. Could you pleasе lengthen them a little from subseqᥙent time?
    Thanks for the post.

    January 17, 2021 at 17:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Buford

    Link exchange is nothing else however it is only placing the other person's blog link on your page at appropriate place and
    other person will also do same in favor of you.

    Here is my web blog :: Buford

    February 26, 2021 at 21:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. FrancisViomY

    https://cheap-hearing-aids.info – krempai

    as$#$%f!&

    March 7, 2021 at 15:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Yael Kuter

    I've been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

    http://www.froleprotrem.com/

    March 24, 2021 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 먹튀검증사이트

    496735 45561Right after examine a couple of of the weblog posts in your web site now, and I truly like your manner of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web site list and may possibly be checking back soon. Pls take a appear at my website as effectively and let me know what you believe. 756649

    April 2, 2021 at 18:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. replica uhren deutschland

    910781 777922I discovered your blog web site site on the search engines and check several of your early posts. Always maintain up the quite great operate. I recently additional increase Rss to my MSN News Reader. Searching for toward reading a lot much more on your part later on! 556227

    April 14, 2021 at 07:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. WilliamPeesy

    In any occasion, the standards of good news-casting haven't been minded of sooner than this valuable net index. Google in truth thinks usually about the dash and resources of articles, peculiarly as a component of its XML. Gargantuan news-casting is tied in with being straightforward and as even headed as could be expected.

    An eye to what reason do you think the Google XML sitemap creeps, lists, and distributes general area site gratification from CNN, BBC, Techcrunch, The Wall In someone's bailiwick Magazine and others in its muster items?

    my blog

    $e33987j

    April 20, 2021 at 18:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. T Strainers

    457514 459916I gotta favorite this web site it seems very beneficial . 213399

    May 8, 2021 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Rudolph Juve

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these second life articles and blogs

    http://adolit.blogspot.com/2005/01/circulatingion.html

    May 10, 2021 at 12:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Meda Lucek

    This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusuf-hanafy-82493b183

    May 11, 2021 at 23:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Heather Reaux

    I don't know about you guys but I am obsessed with airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loves airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/08/taking-a-look-at-an-airline-board-room-working-as-an-alaska-airlines-concierge-part-3/

    http://www.tulalipnews.com/wp/page/581/

    May 16, 2021 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Aiko Keup

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2005/09/flatpack-anytime-anywhere.html?showComment=1127726700000&m=0

    May 17, 2021 at 06:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Kit Koeppl

    I don't know about you guys but I am obsessed with airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/11/united-airlines-to-have-two-retro-liveries/

    http://urlm.co/g/c/f/163872

    May 17, 2021 at 17:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Isaiah Dryer

    I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loves airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/04/video-4/

    http://www.doc-txt.com/Boeing-Everett-Museum.pdf

    May 19, 2021 at 03:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Sondra Mackowiak

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life websites and blogs

    http://beyondnewhorizons.com/2009/08/flickr-stream/

    May 20, 2021 at 02:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Rey Camino

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life authors and blogs

    http://rumblingstrips.blogspot.com/2008/06/blogging.html

    May 20, 2021 at 19:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Hung Zalusky

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these sl authors and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2005/10/homework-domework-last-10-days-have.html

    May 23, 2021 at 03:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Myron Tauber

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life websites and blogs

    http://thethinkingteacherchronicle.blogspot.com/2012/02/on-collaboration.html

    May 28, 2021 at 04:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Talisha Manseau

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl authors and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2004/11/i-finally-get-it.html?m=0

    May 29, 2021 at 04:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Lacy Carrell

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl articles and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2015/02/new-book-in-our-series-matt-farbers.html?showComment=1540207666946

    May 30, 2021 at 05:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Mikki Beichner

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these second life authors and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2012/12/a-new-book-at-end-of-hard-year.html?showComment=1526849956733

    May 31, 2021 at 03:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Aurea Bilton

    This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusufhanafy

    June 1, 2021 at 00:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Devon Witzke

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs

    http://beyondnewhorizons.com/tag/critical-literacy/

    June 2, 2021 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Wilfredo Olm

    This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusufhanafy

    June 5, 2021 at 07:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Delmer Birkes

    This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusufhanafy

    June 10, 2021 at 07:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Dannie Fallows

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life websites and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2005/09/flatpack-anytime-anywhere.html?showComment=1272173514149&m=0

    June 12, 2021 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Dexter Michno

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these second life articles and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2006_07_01_archive.html

    June 12, 2021 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Jonelle Gerlt

    I don't know about you people but I infatuated with airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loves airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/12/wear-an-ugly-sweater-and-win-a-trip-to-new-zealand-on-air-new-zealand/

    http://urlm.co/g/c/f/163871

    June 13, 2021 at 02:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. viet nam vs malaysia may gio

    Liên Kết Xem Thẳng đá Bóng Futsal Việt Nam Vs Lebanon Vòng Chủng Loại World CupvaoroitvNếu cứ đùa như cách vừa đè bẹp Everton cho tới 3-1 bên trên sân khách hàng

    https://virandoamor.com/detail/mu-vs-chelsea-vaoroi-2410-96723.html

    June 13, 2021 at 05:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Grady Thornbrugh

    I don't know about you people but I infatuated with airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2009/05/first-airbus-build-in-china-has-successful-trial-flight/

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2008_07_01_archive.html

    June 13, 2021 at 16:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Pearlene Hilles

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these second life websites and blogs

    http://adolit.blogspot.com/2007/10/past-is-present-again.html

    June 14, 2021 at 20:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Susantap

    Watch my home video bdsm femdom bondage

    June 17, 2021 at 22:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Randy Castellani

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life websites and blogs

    http://adolit.blogspot.com/2005/05/something-about-one-door-closing.html

    June 18, 2021 at 11:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Chas Marugg

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life websites and blogs

    http://beyondnewhorizons.com/tag/avatar/

    June 21, 2021 at 16:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Arnita Dellarocco

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life articles and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2008/02/tagmapping-with-marc-davis-im-smack.html?showComment=1241225040000

    June 21, 2021 at 20:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. vtv6 online

    Kết Trái Futsal Việt Nam Vs Lebanontrực tiếp vtv3Theo thể thức thi đấu, đội thắng ở cặp đấu này sẽ giành tấm vé đến Lithuania trong ngày hội bóng đá lớn nhất thế giới cho futsal. Tuyển futsal Việt Nam bước vào trận play-off lượt đi tranh vé dự play-off World Cup 2021 với sự tự tin. Tuy vậy, HLV Phạm Minh Giang bày tỏ, toàn đội không ngán Lebanon song sẽ tìm cách để khắc chế sức mạnh của đối thủ bởi bên trên băng ghế huấn luyện là nhà cầm quân Ramiro Lopez, người từng dẫn dắt futsal Tây Ban Nha.|Dựa vào lịch tranh tài, quý khách rất có thể chuẩn bị xếp làm việc

    https://questiontime.info/detail/tructiephdtv-90323.html

    June 23, 2021 at 05:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. how to use a nectar collector

    Dab Pads & Oil Containershttp://www.tomoniikiru.org/ikiru/index.cgi?res=104581All products intended for use with legal smoking/vaping mixtures only .

    https://www.posts123.com/user/780626/jeepeffect53

    June 24, 2021 at 22:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. qatar vs iraq

    Xoilac Tv Thẳng Soccerhtv9 hdĐây có lẽ rằng là ngôi trường hợp “của đi thay nhân viên" khá may mắn đối với Ben McLemore. Thiếu chút nữa tay ném của Los Angeles Lakers đã được thể bắt gặp hiểm họa nguy hiểm. Cập nhật kết trái trận nước ta vs Lebanon nằm trong play-off vòng loại Futsal World Cup 2021.

    https://virandoamor.com/detail/lich-dau-tennis-hom-nay-45246.html

    June 25, 2021 at 08:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. 대밤

    908688 212480If you have been injured as a result of a defective IVC Filter, you should contact an experienced attorney practicing in medical malpractice cases, specifically someone with experience in these lawsuits. 13683

    June 25, 2021 at 09:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. letou

    Thông Tin, Sự Khiếu Nại Liên Quan Lại Đến Thẳng Bóng Đá Phái Nữ ae888Đội tuyển Việt Nam chỉ cần thiết một kết quả hòa có bàn thắng để lần loại hai góp mặt tại World Cup futsal. Nhưng, để thực hiện được điều đó

    https://frontsportsbox.com/

    June 27, 2021 at 16:25 | Report abuse | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.