Cognitive and neuropsychiatric correlates of EEG dynamic complexity in patients with Alzheimer's disease

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Dec 2:47:52-61. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2013.07.022. Epub 2013 Aug 13.


This study assessed the utility of multiscale entropy (MSE), a complexity analysis of biological signals, to identify changes in dynamics of surface electroencephalogram (EEG) in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) that was correlated to cognitive and behavioral dysfunction. A total of 108 AD patients were recruited and their digital EEG recordings were analyzed using MSE methods. We investigate the appropriate parameters and time scale factors for MSE calculation from EEG signals. We then assessed the within-subject consistency of MSE measures in different EEG epochs and correlations of MSE measures to cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms of AD patients. Increased severity of AD was associated with decreased MSE complexity as measured by short-time scales, and with increased MSE complexity as measured by long-time scales. MSE complexity in EEGs of the temporal and occipitoparietal electrodes correlated significantly with cognitive function. MSE complexity of EEGs in various brain areas was also correlated to subdomains of neuropsychiatric symptoms. MSE analysis revealed abnormal EEG complexity across short- and long-time scales that were correlated to cognitive and neuropsychiatric assessments. The MSE-based EEG complexity analysis may provide a simple and cost-effective method to quantify the severity of cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms in AD patients.

Keywords: AD; Alzheimer's disease; BPSD; Behavioral and psychological sysmptoms of dementia; CDR; Clinical dementia rating; Complexity; EEG; Electroencephalogram; MCI; MMSE; MSE; Mild cognitive impairment; Mini-mental state examination; Multiscale entropy; NPI; Neuropsychiatric inventory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / complications*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Brain Waves / physiology*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Entropy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Nonlinear Dynamics*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Statistics as Topic