Skip to main content

Volume 12 Supplement 1

Abstracts from Hydrocephalus 2015

  • Oral presentation
  • Open access
  • Published:

Association between apathy and regional cerebral blood flow in patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus


Apathy is a common symptom in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH). However, the neuroanatomical bases of apathy in iNPH has not been well examined. We assessed the relationship between improvement of apathy and change of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) after shunt surgery.


We recruited 20 iNPH patients who had apathy before shunt surgery. They were tested about apathy with Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and cognitive function with Mini-mental State Examination (MMSE) and Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB). They were also evaluated quantitative rCBFs of 32 regions-of-interests (ROIs) with 123I-IMP single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) using the autoradiography method. All the evaluations were conducted both before and 3 months after shunt surgery. They were classified into two subgroups; one was improved apathy (APA+) and another was not (APA-). The changes of rCBFs after the shunt were evaluated in each subgroup, respectively. In addition, we assessed the correlations between the changes of apathy and cognitive functions after shunt surgery.


Ten patients categorized in APA+ group. In APA+ group, rCBFs in 3 ROIs, bilateral anterior cingulate cortices (ACC) and right caudate nucleus, were significantly improved after shunt surgery. In APA-group, rCBFs in 2 ROIs, splenium of corpus callosum and right amygdala, were significantly improved after shunt surgery. A significant correlation was found between the changes of apathy score in NPI and score of FAB.


Dysfunction of bilateral ACC and right caudate nucleus could cause apathy, and severity of apathy could be correlated with frontal dysfunction in iNPH. Caudate is known as a key structure of apathy related to disruption of cognitive processing. The results in the present study might indicate that iNPH led to apathy as a result of frontal dysfunction due to caudate impairment.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hideki Kanemoto.

Rights and permissions

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kanemoto, H., Kazui, H., Suehiro, T. et al. Association between apathy and regional cerebral blood flow in patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus. Fluids Barriers CNS 12 (Suppl 1), O4 (2015).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: