Resting state cortical electroencephalographic rhythms in covert hepatic encephalopathy and alzheimer's disease

Claudio Babiloni, Fabrizio Vecchio, Claudio Del Percio, Sara Montagnese, Sami Schiff, Roberta Lizio, Giorgia Chini, Gaetano Serviddio, Nicola Marzano, Andrea Soricelli, Giovanni B. Frisoni, Paolo M. Rossini, Piero Amodio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients suffering from prodromal (i.e., amnestic mild cognitive impairment, aMCI) and overt Alzheimer's disease (AD) show abnormal cortical sources of resting state electroencephalographic (EEG) rhythms. Here we tested the hypothesis that these sources show extensive abnormalities in liver cirrhosis (LC) patients with a cognitive impairment due to covert and diffuse hepatic encephalopathy (CHE). EEG activity was recorded in 64 LC (including 21 CHE), 21 aMCI, 21 AD, and 21 cognitively intact (Nold) subjects. 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). EEG cortical sources were estimated by LORETA. Widespread sources of theta (all but frontal), alpha 1 (all but occipital), and alpha 2 (parietal, temporal) rhythms were higher in amplitude in all LC patients than in the Nold subjects. In these LC patients, the activity of central, parietal, and temporal theta sources correlated negatively, and parietal and temporal alpha 2 sources correlated positively with an index of global cognitive status. Finally, widespread theta (all but frontal) and alpha 1 (all but occipital) sources showed higher activity in the sub-group of LC patients with CHE than in the patients with aMCI or AD. These results unveiled the larger spatial-frequency abnormalities of the resting state EEG sources in the CHE compared to the AD condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707-725
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • covert hepatic encephalopathy
  • electroencephalography
  • hepatic encephalopathy
  • liver cirrhosis
  • low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • minimal hepatic encephalopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Psychology


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