Cortical Sources of Resting State Electroencephalographic Rhythms in Parkinson's Disease Related Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease

Clin Neurophysiol. 2011 Dec;122(12):2355-64. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2011.03.029. Epub 2011 Sep 15.


Objective: Here we test the hypothesis that cortical source mapping of resting state electroencephalographic (EEG) rhythms could characterize neurodegenerative disorders inducing cognitive impairment such as Parkinson's disease related dementia (PDD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Methods: To address this issue, eyes-closed resting state EEG rhythms were recorded in 13 PDD, 20 AD, and 20 normal elderly (Nold) subjects. Age, gender, and education were carefully matched across the three groups. Mini Mental State Evaluation (MMSE) score probed subjects' global cognitive status, and was matched between the PDD and AD groups. EEG rhythms of interest were delta (2-4 Hz), theta (4-8 Hz), alpha1 (8-10.5 Hz), alpha2 (10.5-13 Hz), beta1 (13-20 Hz), and beta2 (20-30 Hz). EEG cortical sources were estimated by low resolution brain electromagnetic source tomography (LORETA).

Results: With respect to the Nold and AD groups, the PPD group was characterized by peculiar abnormalities of central delta sources and posterior cortical sources of theta and beta1 rhythms. With respect to the Nold group, the PDD and AD groups mainly pointed to lower posterior cortical sources of alpha1 rhythms, which were positively correlated to MMSE score across all PDD and AD subjects as a whole (the lower the alpha sources, the lower the MMSE score). This alpha decrease was greater in the AD than PPD patients.

Conclusions: The results suggest that topography and frequency of eyes-closed resting state cortical EEG rhythms distinguished PDD and AD groups.

Significance: We report the existence of different effects of neurodegeneration on the cortical neural synchronization mechanisms generating resting state EEG rhythms in PDD and AD patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Cortical Synchronization / physiology
  • Dementia / physiopathology*
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • Rest