Resting state cortical rhythms in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease: Electroencephalographic evidence

Claudio Babiloni, Fabrizio Vecchio, Roberta Lizio, Raffaele Ferri, Guido Rodriguez, Nicola Marzano, Giovanni B. Frisoni, Paolo M. Rossini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Physiological brain aging is characterized by a combination of synaptic pruning, loss of cortico-cortical connections and neuronal apoptosis that provoke age-dependent decline of cognitive functions. Neural/synaptic redundancy and plastic remodeling of brain networking, also secondary to mental and physical training, promotes maintenance of brain activity in healthy elderly for everyday life and fully productive affective and intellectual capabilities. Unfortunately, in pathological situations, aging triggers neurodegenerative processes that impact on cognition, like Alzheimer's disease (AD). Oscillatory electromagnetic brain activity is a hallmark of neuronal network function in various brain regions. Modern neurophysiological techniques including digital electroencephalography (EEG) allow non-invasive analysis of cortico-cortical connectivity and neuronal synchronization of firing, and coherence of brain rhythmic oscillations at various frequencies. The present review of field EEG literature suggests that discrimination between physiological and pathological brain aging clearly emerges at the group level, with some promising result on the informative value of EEG markers at the individual level. Integrated approaches utilizing neurophysiological techniques together with biological markers and structural and functional imaging are promising for large-scale, low-cost, widely available on the territory and non-invasive screening of at-risk populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-404
Number of pages14
JournalAdvances in Alzheimer's Disease
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Consciousness
  • electroencephalography (EEG)
  • persistent vegetative state

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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