Cortical Network Topology in Prodromal and Mild Dementia Due to Alzheimer’s Disease: Graph Theory Applied to Resting State EEG

Raffaella Franciotti, Nicola Walter Falasca, Dario Arnaldi, Francesco Famà, Claudio Babiloni, Marco Onofrj, Flavio Mariano Nobili, Laura Bonanni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Graph theory analysis on resting state electroencephalographic rhythms disclosed topological properties of cerebral network. In Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients, this approach showed mixed results. Granger causality matrices were used as input to the graph theory allowing to estimate the strength and the direction of information transfer between electrode pairs. The number of edges (degree), the number of inward edges (in-degree), of outgoing edges (out-degree) were statistically compared among healthy controls, patients with mild cognitive impairment due to AD (AD-MCI) and AD patients with mild dementia (ADD) to evaluate if degree abnormality could involve low and/or high degree vertices, the so called hubs, in both prodromal and over dementia stage. Clustering coefficient and local efficiency were evaluated as measures of network segregation, path length and global efficiency as measures of integration, the assortativity coefficient as a measure of resilience. Degree, in-degree and out-degree values were lower in AD-MCI and ADD than the control group for non-hubs and hubs vertices. The number of edges was preserved for frontal electrodes, where patients’ groups showed an additional hub in F3. Clustering coefficient was lower in ADD compared with AD-MCI in the right occipital electrode, and it was positively correlated with mini mental state examination. Local and global efficiency values were lower in patients’ than control groups. Our results show that the topology of the network is altered in AD patients also in its prodromal stage, begins with the reduction of the number of edges and the loss of the local and global efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain Topography
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • Granger causality
  • Graph theory
  • Integration
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Resilience
  • Segregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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