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The term is derived from the Greek “boul” (will). Abulia is manifested by lack of motivation; lack of spontaneity in speech and action; deficiency in initiation, inertia, mental, and motor slowness; poor attention; and easy distractibility. Inactivity comes from an inability to select a course of action, although a wish to participate may be present. Some research indicates that abulia occurs due to malfunction of the brain’s dopamine-dependent circuitry. In neurologic diseases, it is associated with bilateral lesions in the medial or orbital frontal lobes. The following criteria have been suggested for the diagnosis of abulia: (i) decreased spontaneity in activity and speech; (ii) prolonged latency in responding to queries, directions, and other stimuli; and (iii) reduced ability to persist with a task.
- Drubach, D. A., Zeilig, G., Perez, J., Peralta, L., & Makley, M. (1995). Treatment of abulia with carbidopa/levadopa. Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation, 9, 151–155.Google Scholar