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Resting-state EEG signatures of Alzheimer's disease are driven by periodic but not aperiodic changes

Kopcanová, Martina, Tait, Luke, Donoghue, Thomas, Stothart, George, Smith, Laura, Flores-Sandoval, Aimee Arely, Davila-Perez, Paula, Buss, Stephanie, Shafi, Mouhsin M., Pascual-Leone, Alvaro, Fried, Peter J. and Benwell, Christopher S.Y. 2024. Resting-state EEG signatures of Alzheimer's disease are driven by periodic but not aperiodic changes. Neurobiology of Disease 190 , 106380. 10.1016/j.nbd.2023.106380

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Electroencephalography (EEG) has shown potential for identifying early-stage biomarkers of neurocognitive dysfunction associated with dementia due to Alzheimer's disease (AD). A large body of evidence shows that, compared to healthy controls (HC), AD is associated with power increases in lower EEG frequencies (delta and theta) and decreases in higher frequencies (alpha and beta), together with slowing of the peak alpha frequency. However, the pathophysiological processes underlying these changes remain unclear. For instance, recent studies have shown that apparent shifts in EEG power from high to low frequencies can be driven either by frequency specific periodic power changes or rather by non-oscillatory (aperiodic) changes in the underlying 1/f slope of the power spectrum. Hence, to clarify the mechanism(s) underlying the EEG alterations associated with AD, it is necessary to account for both periodic and aperiodic characteristics of the EEG signal. Across two independent datasets, we examined whether resting-state EEG changes linked to AD reflect true oscillatory (periodic) changes, changes in the aperiodic (non-oscillatory) signal, or a combination of both. We found strong evidence that the alterations are purely periodic in nature, with decreases in oscillatory power at alpha and beta frequencies (AD < HC) leading to lower (alpha + beta) / (delta + theta) power ratios in AD. Aperiodic EEG features did not differ between AD and HC. By replicating the findings in two cohorts, we provide robust evidence for purely oscillatory pathophysiology in AD and against aperiodic EEG changes. We therefore clarify the alterations underlying the neural dynamics in AD and emphasize the robustness of oscillatory AD signatures, which may further be used as potential prognostic or interventional targets in future clinical investigations.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0969-9961
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 March 2024
Date of Acceptance: 13 December 2023
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2024 14:15

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