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Apathy and atrophy of subcortical brain structures in Huntington's disease: A two-year follow-up study

Baake, V; Coppen, EM; van Duijn, E; Dumas, EM; van den Bogaard, SJA; Scahill, RI; Johnson, H; ... Track-HD investigators; + view all (2018) Apathy and atrophy of subcortical brain structures in Huntington's disease: A two-year follow-up study. NeuroImage: Clinical , 19 pp. 66-70. 10.1016/j.nicl.2018.03.033. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Huntington's disease (HD) is characterized by motor and behavioral symptoms, and cognitive decline. HD gene carriers and their caregivers report the behavioral and cognitive symptoms as the most burdensome. Apathy is the most common behavioral symptom of HD and is related to clinical measures of disease progression, like functional capacity. However, it is unknown whether apathy is directly related to the neurodegenerative processes in HD. Objective: The aim is to investigate whether an association between atrophy of subcortical structures and apathy is present in HD, at baseline and after 2 years follow-up. Method: Volumes of 7 subcortical structures were measured using structural T1 MRI in 171 HD gene carriers of the TRACK-HD study and apathy was assessed with the Problem Behaviors Assessment-Short, at baseline and follow-up visit. At baseline, logistic regression was used to evaluate whether volumes of subcortical brain structures were associated with the presence of apathy. Linear regression was used to assess whether subcortical atrophy was associated with the degree of apathy at baseline and with an increase in severity of apathy over time. Results: At baseline, smaller volume of the thalamus showed a higher probability of the presence of apathy in HD gene carriers, but none of the subcortical structures was associated with the degree of apathy. Over time, no association between atrophy of any subcortical structures and change in degree of apathy was found. Conclusion: The presence of apathy is associated with atrophy of the thalamus in HD, suggesting that apathy has an underlying neural cause and might explain the high incidence of apathy in HD. However, no association was found between atrophy of these subcortical structures and increase in severity of apathy over a 2-year time period.

Type: Article
Title: Apathy and atrophy of subcortical brain structures in Huntington's disease: A two-year follow-up study
Location: Netherlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.nicl.2018.03.033
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2018.03.033
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Apathy, Huntington's disease, Subcortical structures, Thalamus
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Neurodegenerative Diseases
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10053767
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