Focal temporoparietal slow activity in Alzheimer's disease revealed by magnetoencephalography

Biol Psychiatry. 2002 Oct 1;52(7):764-70. doi: 10.1016/s0006-3223(02)01366-5.


Background: Patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease exhibit more activity in the conventional electroencephalographic delta and theta bands. This activity concurs with atrophy and reduced metabolic and perfusion rates, particularly in temporoparietal structures.

Methods: Whole-head magnetoencephalographic recordings were obtained from 15 patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and 19 healthy control subjects during a resting condition. The generators of focal magnetic slow waves were located employing a single moving dipole model.

Results: Dipole density in the delta and theta bands was enhanced in the Alzheimer's disease group compared with healthy control subjects. Slow-wave activity differed significantly between groups in temporoparietal regions of both hemispheres. Right temporoparietal slow-wave activity covaried with cognitive performance, whereas left temporal delta activity varied with a functional status scale.

Conclusions: Our results support the predominant role of the temporoparietal areas in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. Magnetoencephalography and the source analysis of focal slow activity in particular provide interesting and potentially clinically useful tools to assess functional modifications of patients' brain and to evaluate its relationship with the cognitive status.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Male
  • Parietal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Temporal Lobe / physiopathology*