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White Matter Microstructure and Apathy Level in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment


In this study, we assess white matter microstructural deficit correlates of apathy level in 20 patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment by means of diffusion tensor imaging. Mean diffusivity correlated positively with apathy level in the right temporal portion of the uncinate, middle longitudinal and inferior longitudinal fasciculi and in the parathalamic white matter, the fornix and the posterior cingulum of the right hemisphere. Fractional anisotropy results confirmed evidence of disconnection associated with apathy in all white matter areas except the middle longitudinal fasciculus. These results support the view that alterations in the neural mechanisms underlying apathy level occur in the early phase of degenerative dementias.