Inter-hemispheric functional coupling of eyes-closed resting EEG rhythms in adolescents with Down syndrome

Claudio Babiloni, Giorgio Albertini, Paolo Onorati, Fabrizio Vecchio, Paola Buffo, Marco Sarà, Claudia Condoluci, Francesca Pistoia, Filippo Carducci, Paolo M. Rossini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We tested the hypothesis that inter-hemispheric directional functional coupling of eyes-closed resting EEG rhythms is abnormal in adolescents with Down syndrome (DS). Methods: Eyes-closed resting EEG data were recorded in 38 DS adolescents (18.7 years ±0.67 SE, IQ = 49 ± 1.9 SE) and in 17 matched normal control subjects (NYoung = 19.1 years ±0.39 SE). The EEG data were recorded from 8 electrodes (Fp1, Fp2, C3, C4, T3, T4, O1, O2) referenced to vertex. EEG rhythms of interest were delta (2-4 Hz), theta (4-8 Hz), alpha 1 (8-10.5 Hz), alpha 2 (10.5-13 Hz), beta 1 (13-20 Hz), and beta 2 (20-30 Hz). Power of EEG rhythms was evaluated by FFT for control purposes, whereas inter-hemispheric directional EEG functional coupling was computed by directed transfer function (DTF). Results: As expected, alpha, beta, and gamma power was widely higher in NYoung than DS subjects, whereas the opposite was true for delta power. As a novelty, DTF (directionality) values globally prevailed from right to left occipital areas in NYoung subjects and in the opposite direction in DS patients. A control experiment showed that this DTF difference could not be observed in the comparison between DS adults with mild cognitive impairment and normal age-matched adults. Conclusions: These results indicate a peculiar abnormal directional inter-hemispheric interplay in visual occipital areas of DS adolescents. Significance: Direction of inter-hemispheric EEG functional coupling unveils a new abnormal brain network feature in DS adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1619-1627
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009


  • Brain rhythms
  • Down syndrome (DS)
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Resting state

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Sensory Systems


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