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EEG findings in dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer's disease

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ian McKeith, Dr William Barker, Emeritus Professor Robert Perry, Dr Andrew Fairbairn


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Objectives-To evaluate the role of the EEG in the diagnosis of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Methods-Standard EEG recordings from 14 patients with DLB confirmed at postmortem were examined and were compared with the records from 11 patients with Alzheimer's disease confirmed at postmortem. Results-Seventeen of the total of 19 records from the patients with DLB were abnormal. Thirteen showed loss of alpha activity as the dominant rhythm and half had slow wave transient activity in the temporal lobe areas. This slow wave transient activity correlated with a clinical history of loss of consciousness. The patients with Alzheimer's disease were less Likely to show transient slow waves and tended to have less marked slowing of dominant rhythm. Conclusions-The greater slowing of the EEG in DLB than in Alzheimer's disease may be related to a greater loss of choline acetyltransferase found in DLB. Temporal slow wave transients may be a useful diagnostic feature in DLB and may help to explain the transient disturbance of consciousness which is characteristic of the disorder.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McKeith IG; Fairbairn AF; Perry RH; Barker WA; Briel RCG; Hewitt Y; Ince PG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry

Year: 1999

Volume: 66

Issue: 3

Pages: 401-403

Print publication date: 01/03/1999

ISSN (print): 0022-3050

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: BMJ Group


DOI: 10.1136/jnnp.66.3.401


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