Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Get full access to
Support quality journalism
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
The Globe and Mail
Support quality journalism
Get full access to
Globe and Mail website displayed on various devices
per week
for the first 24 weeks

var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){console.log("scroll");var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1);

Dr. Krista Lanctôt, Senior Scientist, Brain Sciences Program at the Sunnybrook Research Institute.


Emotional issues, such as apathy and depression, have long been challenging symptoms to identify and treat in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Sunnybrook's Dr. Krista Lanctôt and Dr. Nathan Herrmann, however, are hoping to change that. They have two research studies in progress that are focused on addressing emotional issues in Alzheimer's patients.

The Apathy in Dementia Methylphenidate Trial, or ADMET, will evaluate whether a drug known as methylphenidate is an efficient and safe way to treat apathy. Common signs of apathy include a loss of interest in people and activities, as well as reduced emotional capacity.

Story continues below advertisement

"When AD patients suffer from apathy, they are less able to perform activities of daily living. This not only increases caregiver stress, but also results in higher institutionalization rates and health care costs. The number of AD patients worldwide could reach 80 million by 2040, so finding effective treatments for apathy is an important priority," says Dr. Lanctôt, Senior Scientist, Brain Sciences Program at the Sunnybrook Research Institute.

The second study addresses another challenge doctors often face with AD patients- accurately diagnosing neuropsychiatric issues when the patient has difficulty describing how they feel.

The study will look at an AD patient's visual attention to sad, neutral and social pictures, which is also known as the visual attention scanning system. The tests that currently exist are subjective and usually rely on an informant, such as a caregiver, to supply the information about the AD patient's emotional state. "The tool we are studying is more a objective way of diagnosing emotional issues, which can help clinicians make more accurate treatment decisions," says Dr. Herrmann.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies