Table 1

Apathy occurs commonly in a broad range of neurological and psychiatric conditions

ConditionPrevalenceComments
Parkinson’s disease (PD)17%–70% (likely ~30% in the general population)A common non-motor symptom of PD. Occurs at all stages of the disease and is a presenting symptom in >20% of patients. Clear evidence it is an intrinsic (rather than reactive) feature of PD.3 50
Alzheimer’s disease~50%Along with PD, apathy in AD probably has had the greatest level of research interest to date, including epidemiology, imaging correlates and therapeutics (s16).
Sporadic cerebral small vessel disease (SVD)15%–30%An increasingly recognised complication of SVD, with a clear association between apathy and both background vascular risk factors and imaging changes of SVD (s17, s18).
CADASIL40%One of the cardinal features of this condition. Occurs at all clinical stages but more likely with progression of the disease (s19).
Stroke (large vessel territory)~30%Occurrence is associated with worse outcomes and poorer quality of life4 (s20).
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD)>50% (particularly behavioural variant)A core feature of behavioural variant FTD (which can have different underlying pathologies), although also present in other subtypes. Strongly associated with impulsivity (s21).
Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP)Up to 90%Occurs in nearly all patients with PSP (s22).
Corticobasal syndrome50%–90%A common feature of this neurodegenerative syndrome, which is associated with different underlying pathologies (s23).
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis40%A common feature, with at least mild apathy symptoms present in most patients (s24).
Huntington’s disease>30%Common and strongly related to disease progression (s2).
Traumatic brain injury20%–72%Increasingly recognised as a sequalae (s25).
HIV infection25%–40%A common sequelae of HIV infection, it has been related to the extent of brain pathology particularly within the ventral striatum and the subcortical white matter (s26, s27).
Multiple sclerosis (MS)22%Emerging evidence suggests apathy is a common neurobehavioural feature of MS (s28).
Myotonic dystrophy40%A noted feature of this condition, although limited research to date (s29).
Wilson’s disease24%Reported in some patients in a single study (s30).
Depression38%Dissociable from, but associated with the syndrome of depression, particularly anhedonic components (s31).
Schizophrenia47%One of the core components of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia (s32).
  • References are provided in the online supplementary material.

  • CADASIL, Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical Iinfarcts and leukcoencephalopathy.