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PLoS One. 2013 Jul 11;8(7):e68792. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068792. Print 2013.

Altered oscillation and synchronization of default-mode network activity in mild Alzheimer's disease compared to mild cognitive impairment: an electrophysiological study.

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Department of Education and Research, Taipei City Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan ; Department of Neurology, Taipei City Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.


Some researchers have suggested that the default mode network (DMN) plays an important role in the pathological mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease (AD). To examine whether the cortical activities in DMN regions show significant difference between mild AD from mild cognitive impairment (MCI), electrophysiological responses were analyzed from 21 mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) and 21 mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients during an eyes closed, resting-state condition. The spectral power and functional connectivity of the DMN were estimated using a minimum norm estimate (MNE) combined with fast Fourier transform and imaginary coherence analysis. Our results indicated that source-based EEG maps of resting-state activity showed alterations of cortical spectral power in mild AD when compared to MCI. These alterations are characteristic of attenuated alpha or beta activities in the DMN, as are enhanced delta or theta activities in the medial temporal, inferior parietal, posterior cingulate cortex and precuneus. With regard to altered synchronization in AD, altered functional interconnections were observed as specific connectivity patterns of connection hubs in the precuneus, posterior cingulate cortex, anterior cingulate cortex and medial temporal regions. Moreover, posterior theta and alpha power and altered connectivity in the medial temporal lobe correlated significantly with scores obtained on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). In conclusion, EEG is a useful tool for investigating the DMN in the brain and differentiating early stage AD and MCI patients. This is a promising finding; however, further large-scale studies are needed.

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