Poor reward sensitivity and apathy after stroke

Neurology: October 9, 2013

Objective: To examine the relationship between reward sensitivity and self-reported apathy in stroke patients and to investigate the neuroanatomical correlates of both reward sensitivity and apathy.

Methods: In this prospective study, 55 chronic stroke patients were administered a questionnaire to assess apathy and a laboratory task to examine reward sensitivity by measuring motivationally driven behavior (“reinforcement-related speeding”). Fifteen participants without brain damage served as controls for the laboratory task. Negative mood, working memory, and global cognitive functioning were also measured to determine whether reward insensitivity and apathy were secondary to cognitive impairments or negative mood. Voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping was used to explore the neuroanatomical substrates of reward sensitivity and apathy. Read More