Structural and functional patterns in healthy aging, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer disease

Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2010 Jan-Mar;24(1):1-10. doi: 10.1097/WAD.0b013e3181aba730.


The aim of this study was to analyze the combined contribution of magnetic resonance imaging and magnetoencephalography (MEG) to the diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD. To whole-head MEG recordings were obtained from three diagnosis groups: Alzheimer disease (AD), MCI, and control. Magnetic resonance imaging volumetric data of global brain, temporal lobe, and hippocampal volumes, were also obtained. Results indicated that a reduction of volume in the hippocampal structure allowed the discrimination between AD and MCI patients as compared with controls. The percentage of correct classification was 91.3% when AD versus controls was compared, and 83.3% when we compared MCI versus control. MEG data showed that AD patients exhibit higher theta and delta activity than MCI and controls. Such higher activity was significant in parietal, temporal, and occipital areas. Left parietal theta classified controls versus MCIs with 78.3% rate of correct classification. Right occipital theta and the left parietal delta allowed the discrimination of controls versus ADs, with 81.8% rate of correct classification. Left parietal theta discriminated between ADs and MCIs with 56.6% rate of correct classification. In addition, the combination of both techniques significantly improved the rate of correct classification, thus indicating that a multidisciplinary perspective of techniques may improve the diagnostic capabilities.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / pathology*
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / classification
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis*
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cognition Disorders / classification
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Male