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Vol. 31, No. 1, 2011
Issue release date: December 2010
Cerebrovasc Dis 2011;31:6–11

Post-Stroke Apathy and Hypoperfusion in Basal Ganglia: SPECT Study

Onoda K. · Kuroda Y. · Yamamoto Y. · Abe S. · Oguro H. · Nagai A. · Bokura H. · Yamaguchi S.
Departments of aNeurology and bLaboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Shimane University, cDepartment of Radiology, Shimane University Hospital, and dDepartment of Neurology, Shimane Prefectural Central Hospital, Izumo, Japan

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Background: Although apathy has been reported as one of the neuropsychiatric symptoms following stroke, there are few studies on regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in stroke patients with apathy. The present study compared rCBF between apathetic and non-apathetic patients after stroke. Methods: We recruited 102 patients with cerebral infarction within 1 month after stroke and performed neuropsychiatric assessments that included the apathy scale. rCBF was quantitatively measured using N-isopropyl-p-123I-iodoamphetamine single-photon emission computed tomography. Results: Thirty-seven patients (36%) had apathy. The apathetic group showed lower cognitive function and a higher depressive state than the non-apathetic group. rCBF in the basal ganglia was reduced for the apathetic group compared with the non-apathetic group. Furthermore, lesions in the left basal ganglia were associated with hypoperfusion in bilateral basal ganglia and the presence of apathy. Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that apathy is a frequent symptom among stroke patients and that hypoperfusion caused by basal ganglia lesions may contribute to post-stroke apathy.

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