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AAIC 2022 | Biomarkers of apathy in Alzheimer’s disease

Krista Lanctôt, PhD, Sunnybrook Research Institute & University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, discusses the importance of developing biomarkers of apathy in Alzheimer’s disease to yield novel insights into the neurobiological mechanisms and gain a better understanding of which individuals are more likely to develop apathy. To date, research groups have looked at traditional Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers to see if they associate with apathy. Regarding amyloid-PET, mixed results have been shown. Dr Lanctôt explains that the ceiling affect in later stages of disease may explain why a consistent relationship has not been demonstrated. Some evidence has suggested that apathy may be related to tau in the orbitofrontal cortex, but more data is needed to back up these findings. It has also been shown that apathy in Alzheimer’s disease is associated with changes in the dopaminergic brain reward system, providing the rationale for assessing methylphenidate in this setting. Ongoing work is looking at imaging and blood-based biomarkers of apathy. This interview took place at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2022 in San Diego, CA.


Dr Lanctôt gratefully acknowledges support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (PJ2-179753, PJT-183584), Pooler Charitable Fund, Canadian Consortium for Neurodegeneration in Aging (CNA 163902), Alzheimer’s Association Part the Cloud (PTCG-20-700751, PTC-18-543823), Weston Foundation (CT190002), and Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (201808-2016354). Consultant or Advisory Board: BioXcel Therapeutics, Cerevel Therapeutics, Eisai Co., Ltd., ICG Pharma, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Kondor Pharma, H LundbeckA/S, Merck Sharp Dohme, Novo Nordisk, Praxis Therapeutics, Sumitomo.