Apolipoprotein E and alpha brain rhythms in mild cognitive impairment: A multicentric electroencephalogram study

Claudio Babiloni, Luisa Benussi, Giuliano Binetti, Emanuele Cassetta, Gloria Dal Forno, Claudio Del Percio, Florinda Ferreri, Raffaele Ferri, Giovanni Frisoni, Roberta Ghidoni, Carlo Miniussi, Guido Rodriguez, Gian Luca Romani, Rosanna Squitti, Maria Carla Ventriglia, Paolo M. Rossini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Relationships between the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele and electroencephalographic (EEG) rhythmicity have been demonstrated in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients but not in the preclinical stage prodromic to it, namely, mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The present multicentric EEG study tested the hypothesis that presence of ε4 affects sources of resting EEG rhythms in both MCI and AD subjects. Methods: We enrolled 89 MCI subjects (34.8% with ε4) and 103 AD patients (50.4% with ε4). Resting eyes-closed EEG data were recorded for all subjects. EEG rhythms of interest were delta (2-4Hz), theta (4-8Hz), alpha 1 (8-10.5Hz), alpha 2 (10.5-13Hz), beta 1 (13-20Hz), and beta 2 (20-30Hz). EEG cortical sources were estimated by low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography. Results: Results showed that amplitude of alpha 1 and 2 sources in occipital, temporal, and limbic areas was lower in subjects carrying the ε4 allele than in those not carrying the ε4 allele (p <0.01). This was true for both MCI and AD. For the first time to our knowledge, a relationship was shown between ApoE genotype and global neurophysiological phenotype (ie, cortical alpha rhythmicity) in a preclinical AD condition, MCI, in addition to clinically manifest AD. Interpretation: Such a demonstration motivates future genotype-EEG phenotype studies for the early prediction of AD conversion in individual MCI subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-334
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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