A simple and cost-effective q EEG evaluation shows marked differences between early Alzheimer’s disease patients and controls

author: Bruna Pikš, Department of Neurology, University Medical Centre Ljubljana
published: Oct. 1, 2015,   recorded: May 2015,   views: 1296


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Due to population ageing prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease is expected to rise, therefore early diagnosis is paramount. Currently, AD diagnosis relies largely on clinical presentation and exclusion of other causes of dementia. To increase the diagnostic accuracy the use of imaging and CSF biomarkers is encouraged, however their sensitivity and specificity is limited and procedures for their assessment are either invasive or expensive. EEG is a non-invasive, cheap method that might offer time-sensitive biomarkers with comparable performance. METHODS A 20 min long 64-channel resting EEG with eyes open (EO) and closed (EC) was recorded on 14 AD patients and 37 controls. Recordings were segmented, FFT transformed and averaged for EO and EC separately. Peak alpha frequency (PAF), the frequency at which the alpha band (7-13 Hz) exhibits largest power, was determined for each channel and compared between groups. The average reference was used for all analyses. RESULTS Differences were most evident in EO (p<0.001) with patients having lower PAF than controls; specifically at fronto-central and temporal regions. Differences in EC were somewhat less pronounced but still significant (p<0.01) with patients having lower PAF at frontal and centro-parietal regions. Patients consistently exhibited lower PAF across all scalp regions. DISCUSSION The main objective of this study was to assess the difference in PAF between AD patients and controls. Our results indicate that quantitative EEG is a promising method that could aid in AD evaluation. Its low cost and noninvasiveness make it particularly appealing for wide scale application in clinical practice.

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