Incident apathy during the first year after stroke and its effect on physical and cognitive recovery.

American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

PubMedID: 23831176

Mikami K, Jorge RE, Moser DJ, Jang M, Robinson RG. Incident apathy during the first year after stroke and its effect on physical and cognitive recovery. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2013;21(9):848-54.
OBJECTIVE
This prospective study examined the course of cognitive, physical, and social impairment among patients who developed apathy during the first year after stroke.

METHODS
Patients diagnosed with apathy (N = 23) were compared with patients who had no apathy (N = 33) at initial, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after stroke for severity of global cognitive impairment as measured by Mini-Mental State Examination, severity of impairment in activities of daily living (ADLs) as measured by Functional Independence Measure, and severity of impairment in social functioning as measured by Social Functioning Exam.

RESULTS
A total of 41.1% of patients met diagnostic criteria for apathy during the first year after stroke. The mean time from stroke to onset of apathy was 3.8 (3.3 SD) months and the mean duration was 5.6 (2.3 SD) months. Using a linear mixed model, after controlling for age, initial severity of impairment, and major depression, patients in the apathy group had significantly less recovery in cognition (t(149) = -2.06; p = 0.0411) and ADLs (t(104) = -3.37; p = 0.0011) during the first year after stroke compared with nonapathic patients.

CONCLUSION
Apathy is common after stroke and leads to less recovery in cognition and ADLs over the first year after stroke compared with similar nonapathic patients.