Apathy and depression are markers, states a new study, in the development from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to dementia, including Alzheimer's disease and Lewy body dementia.
Depression causes changes in mood, thinking, physical well-being and behavior, while apathy is loss of motivation without associated feelings of being depressed or blue.
Yonas E. Geda, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neuropsychiatrist and the study's lead investigator and his team found in a study that individuals with MCI and depression had a 66 percent increased risk of developing dementia than those individuals with MCI without depression.
Likewise, the individuals with mild cognitive impairment and apathy had a 99 percent increased risk of developing dementia than those individuals with mild cognitive impairment without apathy.
"This delay could have a huge impact on the quality of life for individual patients and their families, not to mention the broad public health implications of delaying the societal and economic burden of dementia," says Geda.