Anhedonia & Dementia

.This entry is written by Truthful Loving Kindness (yes, that is my full legal name) for publishing at ,
so PLEASE address any questions or comments to that website, regardless of which website shows these words. 

In Greek, “anhedonia” literally translates to “without pleasure”, or Loss-of-Pleasure. 
Loss of pleasure sensations are often ASSUMED to be caused from depression, but this is not necessarily the cause.

Neuroimaging shared by the University of Sydney in 2021 compare the differences in  grey matter intensity decreases for anhedonia, apathy and depression.  These are each separate conditions … that sometimes have a lot of overlap  (see Link at the bottom of this article, just before “Further Research”. 

Personal Experience:  

i have been experiencing lack of feel-good stuff. Those sensations have decreased in frequency and intensity over the past three or four years — but recently this symptom is much more to my notice, because instead of just decreased pleasure, experiences that brought me great pleasure in the past … now bring absolutely no pleasure except “second-hand” pleasure.

i still get pleasure, but it is more a “second-hand” pleasure, or “logical” pleasure;
i appreciate the dog’s excitement when i play with him;
his wagging tail, and enthusiasm to spend time with me shows me that i am important to him. 
the sight of my husband’s smile when he opens his arms to hug me gives me pleasure, it reminds me that i am important to him. 
Smiles of others give me pleasure, because i am glad they are feeling good. 
i still smile a lot; i think that action is partially a healthy CHOICE — and partially just habit, LOL.

i dont get “pleasure” from the wood fire in Living Room,
but i definitely get “comfort” from the sight sound and warmth that have been associated with “home” my entire life. 
i still get comfort from expressing myself
(not so much speaking aloud with words, but from writing and art, then having those projects well-received). 
Helping others gives me comfort, with my purpose in life of reflecting “Truthful Loving Kindness”.

Very glad that my system does not seem to REQUIRE a lot of feel-good stuff or “excitement” (which is common for those who get their energy from being alone and introspective thought, rather than getting their energy from being with others).


.Dementia Types and Anhedonia:

Fronto-Temporal type dementia and lack of feel-good stuff is linked at:
2021 study says Neuroimaging revealed symptoms of anhedonia were marked by atrophy in the frontal and striatal brain areas of those with FTD.”  .>> .


Vascular-type dementia:  
Post-Stroke Anhedonia is discussed at , where they state, “Our findings suggest that anhedonia in stroke patients is associated with the volume of stroke lesion in the parahippocampal gyrus and with dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.”


Lewy Body Dementia is associated with a depletion of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. These are: Dopamine (the feel-good neurotransmitter that also helps transmit signals controlling muscle movement) and Acetylcholine (This neurotransmitter does its work in the parts of the brain responsible for memory, thinking and processing). See  >>…/dementia-with-lewy…


Alzheimers-type: says in 2015, “The presence of the symptom of anhedonia without a major depressive disorder was associated with a six-times higher risk of conversion to AD in individuals with MCI.” says in 2021 “our study suggests that anhedonia, independent of a mood disorder, is a probable psychopathological risk factor of AD.”

Profound Loss of Pleasure Related to Early-Onset Dementia


Further Research:

‘Anhedonia is a condition in which the capacity of pleasure is partially or completely lost,
and it refers to both a personality trait, and a “state symptom” in various neuropsychiatric and physical disorders.
It has a putative neural substrate,
originating in the dopaminergic mesolimbic and mesocortical reward circuit.’ 
Above definition is in introduction of book “Anhedonia; a Comprehensive Handbook, Volume 1” published 2014 by Springer (ISBN# 9401785910).

I have gathered that several brain areas may be involved with anhedonia;
the prefrontal cortex,
the amygdala,
the striatum,
the insula, and
basal ganglia (nucleus accumbens). 

Several neurotransmitters seem to also have a relationship with anhedonia;
reduced dopamine expression (which would probably be the aspect involved with Lewy Bodies) and
GABA (which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter),
glutamate (an excitatory neurotransmitter), and
serotonin (traditionally known for relationship with “depression”)


There are two primary types of anhedonia; “social anhedonia” and “physical anhedonia”.  Description below is found at .

Social anhedonia refers to “… Difficulty or inability to experience pleasure from interacting with others or of being in social settings. For example, a person may find it difficult to enjoy being with others and have little motivation to engage in or seek out social situations. This can also contribute to experiencing emotional detachment and difficulty in building intimacy and/or emotionally connecting with others.”  ((Personal note: This is different from being “shy” or “introverted.))

Physical anhedonia refers to “… Difficulty or inability to experience pleasure from sensory or physical experiences like eating, touching, sex, or movement (e.g., physical activities, hobbies). For example, a person may not feel pleasure from being hugged or eating a meal they used to enjoy.”  


… and you might want to check out the Links gathered for Dementia Symptoms and Strategies (alphabetized) at


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Text Copyright © Truthful L. Kindness on 07Feb2022.  Digital Painting “Anhedonia and Dementia copyright by Truthful Kindness on 05Feb2022.  Procreate “Liquid” project on iPad using Apple Pencil and brushes by NurMiftah, then put it thru iColorama “raise” process to better show the brushstrokes..
i dont mind re-posting of things i write, but if you re-post then i expect you to make it clear this is NOT written by you. My authorship as Truthful Kindness (my legal name) must be clearly identified, and provide very prominent Link to my website so that questions and comments can be addressed to ME personally at . .
Tags: alzheimers, anhedonia, dementia, frontoTemporal, Lewy Body, mood, person living with dementia, pleasure, PLwD, symptoms, vascular .  S&S categ: mood . Registered & Protected .



3 thoughts on “Anhedonia & Dementia

  1. I am still amazed by your ability to explain how you’re feeling.
    When you teach us, you’re helping your brain.
    It’s my feeling, your ambition (?) is amazing.
    Thank you for continuing to educate us.

    Get Outlook for Android

    Liked by 2 people

    • There are some blessings to being born a person driven to analyze the goings-on within myself and my immediate environment.
      Yes, i am discovering my driving motivation is strongly decreased … but it is still there. ((smile)).
      Thank YOU for taking the time to read and comment, RuthAnn. ((hearts and hugs)).
      Knowing that a topic that interested ME was received so well by YOU gives those “second-hand” blessings discussed above
      THANK you so much !
      — Tru

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: February Pages | Truthful Loving Kindness

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