According to a new study piloted by the researchers of Alzheimer's Research UK have reported that individuals who lack interest in everything surrounding them are at higher risk of developing dementia. Moreover, in the study, researchers focused on finding that whether dementia is associated with lethargy. They also mentioned that individuals with apathy commonly do not have any interest on any subject surrounding them. Furthermore, individuals with apathy are disinterested to take part in normal activities, exhibit minimal emotion, and have lack of energy. In the study, researchers involved over 2,000 people to evaluate apathy by using a designed questionnaire, in order to distinguish apathy from depression and anxiety.
Additionally, researchers categorized the participants into three groups including low, moderate, or severe apathy. The research team followed participants over nine years and observed that 381 research participants developed dementia and they also found that severe apathy was associated with a higher risk of dementia, in comparison to low apathy. They also associated apathy with worse memory and thinking at the beginning of the study, but not later.
Dr. Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer's Research UK, stated, “Symptoms of apathy are common in dementia and are not necessarily symptoms of depression. Many people with dementia are mistakenly diagnosed as having depression, particularly in the early stages. Building a better understanding of some of the less well-recognized symptoms of dementia, like apathy, could inform our efforts to develop better treatments for the condition.”
Researchers suggested that it is vital to understand that lifestyle factors and health can influence risk of dementia risk and further studies are required in dementia research.