To investigate which single quantitative electro-encephalographic (QEEG) marker or which combination of markers correlates best with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) severity as measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).
We compared quantitative EEG markers for slowing (relative band powers), synchrony (coherence, canonical correlation, Granger causality) and complexity (auto-mutual information, Shannon / Tsallis entropy) in 118 AD patients from the multi-centric study PRODEM Austria. Signal spectra were determined using an indirect spectral estimator. Analyses were adjusted for age, sex, duration of dementia, and level of education.
For the whole group (39 possible, 79 probable AD cases) MMSE scores explained 33% of the variations in relative theta power during face encoding, and 31% of auto-mutual information in resting state with eyes closed. MMSE scores explained also 25% of the overall QEEG factor. This factor was thus subordinate to individual markers. In probable AD, QEEG coefficients of determination were always higher than in the whole group, where MMSE scores explained 51% of the variations in relative theta power.
Selected QEEG markers show strong associations with AD severity. Both cognitive and resting state should be used for QEEG assessments.
Our data indicate theta power measured during face-name encoding to be most closely related to AD severity.