Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS


DRASTIC Sintesi della relazione

Project ID: 312787
Finanziato nell'ambito di: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Paese: Netherlands

Mid-Term Report Summary - DRASTIC (Apathy in schizophrenia: time for a DRASTIC (Dual Routes to Apathy in Schizophrenia: Treatment, Imaging, Cognition) study)

In this study we investigate the cognitive and neural basis of apathy in schizophrenia and we test an innovative treatment involving brain stimulation. Apathy is an important factor associated with poor outcome in patients with schizophrenia. Apathy refers to a quantitative reduction of goal-directed behavior which typically involves reduced interest and reduced initiative with regard to every-day activities. In our project, we investigate whether apathy can be due to two different mechanisms: a lack of reward anticipation on the one hand (lack of interest) and difficulties with self-initiation of action on the other hand (lack of initiative). The first studies have focused on activation of brain areas involved in planning behavior on the one hand and connectivity of brain areas central to the dopaminergic reward system during resting state on the other. We observed an association of less activation in parietal cortex, precuneus and thalamus with apathy in schizophrenia patients during planning. With regard to connectivity with reward-related brain areas, apathy was negatively correlated with functional connectivity between the substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area and medial- and lateral prefrontal executive control areas, the temporoparietal junction and the striatum. This was independent of depressive symptoms. This finding may have implications for treatment strategies aimed at improving apathy, which may be targeted at improving activation of the reward system.

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