Although apathy is a diagnostic term used with increasing frequency in both neurology and psychiatry, confusion still exists as to its proper definition and assessment, and whether apathy should be considered a symptom of major psychiatric diseases or an independent syndrome in its own right. Moreover, critical questions regarding the phenomenology and clinical correlates of apathy and the syndromic validity of this construct still exist. Despite these nosological concerns, there is strong evidence that apathy is a common finding in Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the treatment of apathy is still elusive. Current data are obtained from randomised controlled trials that did not investigate apathy per se, but rather a number of other behavioural and psychological variables. In this context, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and psychosocial interventions are the only available modalities for treating apathy in AD with some efficacy.