Title

Alpha desynchronization during simple working memory unmasks pathological aging in cognitively healthy individuals

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Our aim is to explore if cognitive challenge combined with objective physiology can reveal abnormal frontal alpha event-related desynchronization (ERD), in early Alzheimer's disease (AD). We used quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) to investigate brain activities during N-back working memory (WM) processing at two different load conditions (N = 0 or 2) in an aging cohort. We studied 60-100 year old participants, with normal cognition, and who fits one of two subgroups from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) proteins: cognitively healthy (CH) with normal amyloid/tau ratio (CH-NAT, n = 10) or pathological amyloid/tau ratio (CH-PAT, n = 14). We recorded behavioral performances, and analyzed alpha power and alpha spectral entropy (SE) at three occasions: during the resting state, and at event-related desynchronization (ERD) [250 ~ 750 ms] during 0-back and 2-back. During 0-back WM testing, the behavioral performance was similar between the two groups, however, qEEG notably differentiated CH-PATs from CH-NATs on the simple, 0-back testing: Alpha ERD decreased from baseline only in the parietal region in CH-NATs, while it decreased in all brain regions in CH-PATs. Alpha SE did not change in CH-NATs, but was increased from baseline in the CH-PATs in frontal and left lateral regions (p<0.01), and was higher in the frontal region (p<0.01) of CH-PATs compared to CH-NATs. The alpha ERD and SE analyses suggest there is frontal lobe dysfunction during WM processing in the CH-PAT stage. Additional power and correlations with behavioral performance were also explored. This study provide pilot information to further evaluate whether this biomarker has clinical significance.

Medical Subject Headings

Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Aging (pathology); Amyloid beta-Peptides (metabolism); Behavior; Cognition (physiology); Cortical Synchronization (physiology); Electroencephalography; Entropy; Evoked Potentials (physiology); Female; Humans; Male; Memory, Short-Term (physiology); Reaction Time (physiology); Time Factors; tau Proteins (metabolism)

Publication Date

1-1-2019

Publication Title

PloS one

E-ISSN

1932-6203

Volume

14

Issue

1

First Page

e0208517

PubMed ID

30601822

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1371/journal.pone.0208517

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