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EEG Markers of Dementia with Lewy Bodies: A Multicenter Cohort Study

Lookup NU author(s): Professor John-Paul TaylorORCiD, Dr Ruth Cromarty, Dr Dag Aarsland



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


Quantitative EEG (QEEG) has demonstrated good discriminative capacity for dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) diagnosis as compared to Alzheimer's disease (AD) with a predictive value of 100% in a single cohort study. EEG in DLB was characterized by a dominant frequency (DF) in pre-alpha (5.5-7.5 Hz), theta, or delta bands and DF variability (DFV) >1.2 Hz, frequency prevalence (FP) pre-alpha in >40% and FP alpha in <32% of the epochs. To validate the aforementioned QEEG findings in independent cohorts of clinically diagnosed DLB versus AD patients, we analyzed EEG traces of 79 DLB and 133 AD patients (MMSE >20) collected from four European Centers. EEG traces from 19 scalp derivations were acquired as at least 10 min continuous signals and epoched in off-setting as series of 2-second-long epochs, subsequently processed by Fast Fourier Transform (frequency resolution 0.5 Hz). DLB patients showed EEG specific abnormalities in posterior derivations characterized by DF <8 Hz FP pre-alpha >50%, FP alpha <25%. DFV was >0.5 Hz. AD patients displayed stable alpha DF, DFV <0.5 Hz, FP pre-alpha <30%, and FP alpha >55%. DLB and AD differed for DF (p < 10-6), DFV (p < 0.05), FP pre-alpha (p < 10-12) and FP alpha (p < 10-12). Discriminant analysis detected specific cut-offs for every EEG mathematical descriptor; DF = 8, DFV = 2.2 Hz, FP pre-alpha=33%, FP alpha = 41% for posterior derivations. If at least one of the cut-off values was met, the percentage of DLB and AD patients correctly classified was 90% and 64%, respectively. The findings in this multicenter study support the validity of QEEG analysis as a tool for diagnosis in DLB patients.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bonanni L, Francotti R, Nobili F, Kramberger MG, Taylor JP, Garcia-Ptacek S, Falasca WN, Fama F, Cromarty R, Onofrj M, Aarsland D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Alzheimer's Disease

Year: 2016

Volume: 29

Issue: 5

Pages: 1-9

Online publication date: 02/09/2016

Acceptance date: 22/07/2016

Date deposited: 04/11/2016

ISSN (print): 1387-2877

ISSN (electronic): 1875-8908

Publisher: IOS Press


DOI: 10.3233/JAD-160435


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