Acta Scientific Neurology (ASNE) (ISSN: 2582-1121)

Research Article Volume 4 Issue 2

Non-pharmacological Interventions for the Apathy in Patients with Dementia. A Cross-over Randomized Controlled Trial

Dimitriou Tatiana-Danai1*, Papatriantafyllou John2, Konsta Anastasia3, Kazis Dimitrios4, Athanasiadis Loukas3, Ioannidis Panagiotis5, Koutsouraki Efrosini5, Tegos Thomas5 and Tsolaki Magda6

1PhD Neuroscientist, Department of Neurology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
2Psychiatrist, Age Center IASIS, Neurology Department, University of Athens, ‘Attikon’ Hospital, Greece
3Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, “Papageorgiou” General Hospital of Thessaloniki, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
4Associate Professor, Neurology Department, Aristotle University of Thessaloníki, Greece
5Associate Professor, Department of Neurology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Makedonia, Greece
6Neuropsychiatrist, Professor, Department of Neurology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Makedonia, Greece

*Corresponding Author: Dimitriou Tatiana-Danai, Department of Neurology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece..

Received: October 20, 2020; Published: November 30, 2020



Background: Apathy is associated with greater caregiver burden and affects the cognitive abilities of the patient. Having a high prevalence of more than 71% in patients with dementia (PwD), it is a very common symptom in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). In many cases it remains under-diagnosed or is misdiagnosed with depression.

Methods: This study is a cross-over randomized controlled trial with 60 participants conducted in Greece. The participants were randomly assigned in 6 different groups of 10 participants each. The interventions that were evaluated are: a) Body Exercise (BE), b) Reminiscence therapy (RT) and c) Music therapy (MT). The interventions lasted for 5 days and there was two days off, as a wash-out period. There was no drop-out rate. The measurements which were used at baseline were: MMSE, ACE-R, GDS, FRSDD and NPI questionnaires.

Results: The most effective combination was in order: RT- BE- MT. RT when applied in the first week reduced apathy statistically significant (p = 0.007). BE when applied in the second week reduced the symptoms further (p = 0.013) and MT when applied in the third week reduced apathy even more (p = 0.027). We had about the same results with the caregivers’ burden following the same order of interventions: RT (p = 0.006)- BE (p = 0.016)- MT (p = 0.030).

Conclusion: A combination of a cognitive intervention (RT) in the first week, followed by BE the second week and a sensory intervention (MT) the third week, can reduce apathy in PwD and their caregivers’ burden, as well.

Keywords: Apathy; BPSD; Dementia; Cross-over Trial; Non-pharmacological Interventions; RCT; Reminiscence Therapy; Body Exercise; Music Therapy



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Citation: Dimitriou Tatiana-Danai., et al. "Non-pharmacological Interventions for the Apathy in Patients with Dementia. A Cross-over Randomized Controlled Trial". Acta Scientific Neurology 4.2 (2021): 62-69.


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