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Multimodal EEG-MRI in the differential diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sean Colloby, Dr Ruth Cromarty, Dr Luis Peraza RodriguezORCiD, Dr Robert Barber, Professor John O'Brien, Professor John-Paul TaylorORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Differential diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) remains challenging; currently the best discriminator is striatal dopaminergic imaging. However this modality fails to identify 15-20% of DLB cases and thus other biomarkers may be useful. It is recognised electroencephalography (EEG) slowing and relative medial temporal lobe preservation are supportive features of DLB, although individually they lack diagnostic accuracy. Therefore, we investigated whether combined EEG and MRI indices could assist in the differential diagnosis of AD and DLB.Seventy two participants (21 Controls, 30 AD, 21 DLB) underwent resting EEG and 3 Tesla MR imaging. Six EEG classifiers previously generated using support vector machine algorithms were applied to the present dataset. MRI index was derived from medial temporal atrophy (MTA) ratings. Logistic regression analysis identified EEG predictors of AD and DLB. A combined EEG-MRI model was then generated to examine whether there was an improvement in classification compared to individual modalities.For EEG, two classifiers predicted AD and DLB (model: χ2=22.1, df=2, p<0.001, Nagelkerke R2 = 0.47, classification = 77% (AD 87%, DLB 62%)). For MRI, MTA also predicted AD and DLB (model: χ2=6.5, df=1, p=0.01, Nagelkerke R2 = 0.16, classification = 67% (77% AD, 52% DLB). However, a combined EEG-MRI model showed greater prediction in AD and DLB (model: χ2=31.1, df=3, p<0.001, Nagelkerke R2 = 0.62, classification = 90% (93% AD, 86% DLB)).While suggestive and requiring validation, diagnostic performance could be improved by combining EEG and MRI, and may represent an alternative to dopaminergic imaging.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Colloby SJ, Cromarty RA, Peraza LR, Johnsen K, Johannesson G, Bonanni L, Onofrj M, Barber R, O'Brien JT, Taylor J-P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Psychiatric Research

Year: 2016

Volume: 78

Pages: 48-55

Print publication date: 01/07/2016

Online publication date: 25/03/2016

Acceptance date: 23/03/2016

Date deposited: 13/04/2016

ISSN (print): 0022-3956

ISSN (electronic): 1879-1379

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2016.03.010

PubMed id: 27060340


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Funder referenceFunder name
Academy of Medical Sciences
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre in Ageing and Chronic Disease and Biomedical Research Unit in Lewy Body Dementia based at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University
NIHR Dementia Biomedical Research Unit at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
University of Cambridge
BH0070250Newcastle Healthcare Charity
BH083281Wellcome Intermediate Clinical Fellowship
BH090112Wellcome Trust