Quantitative electroencephalogram utility in predicting conversion of mild cognitive impairment to dementia with Lewy bodies

Neurobiol Aging. 2015 Jan;36(1):434-45. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.07.009. Epub 2014 Jul 15.


Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) as a precursor of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is the focus of recent research, trying to explore the early mechanisms and possible biomarkers of DLB. Quantitative electroencephalogram (QEEG) methods are able to differentiate early DLB from Alzheimer's disease (AD). The aim of the present study was to assess whether QEEG abnormalities, characterized by dominant frequency <8 Hz and dominant frequency variability >1.5 Hz, typical of early DLB, are already present at the stage of MCI and to evaluate whether EEG abnormalities can predict the development of DLB. Forty-seven MCI subjects were followed for 3 years. EEG recordings were obtained at admission and at the end of the study. At the end of follow-up, 20 subjects had developed probable DLB (MCI-DLB), 14 had probable AD (MCI-AD), 8 did not convert to dementia, 5 developed a non-AD/DLB dementia. One hundred percent of MCI-DLB showed EEG abnormalities at admission. Ninety three percent of MCI-AD maintained a normal EEG throughout the study. QEEG may represent a powerful tool to predict the progression from MCI to DLB with a sensitivity and specificity close to 100%.

Keywords: Dementia with Lewy bodies; Mild cognitive impairment; Quantitative EEG.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / diagnosis*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / physiopathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Disease Progression
  • Electroencephalography* / methods
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lewy Body Disease / diagnosis*
  • Lewy Body Disease / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Time Factors