Zsuzsanna Fodor 1, Enikő Sirály 1, András Horváth 2, Pál Salacz 1,3, Zoltán Hidasi 1, Éva Csibri 1, Ádám Szabó 4, Gábor Csukly 1
1 Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Semmelweis University, Budapest
2 Department of Neurology, National Institute of Clinical Neurosciences, Budapest
3 Department of Neurology, Hospital at Péterfy Sándor Street, Budapest
4 MR Research Center, Semmelweis University, Budapest
Introduction: Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) refers to a measurable deficit in cognition in the absence of dementia or impairment in activities of daily living. Working memory impairment is among the earliest signs of MCI. Oscillatory analysis of working memory might be a potential tool for identifying patients at increased risk of developing dementia.
Aims: Our study aimed to assess the temporospatial pattern of spectral differences during working memory maintenance between MCI patients and healthy controls and to compare the sources of oscillatory activity between the two groups.
Method: Event-related spectral perturbation of 17 MCI patients and 21 healthy control participants was studied with 128-channel EEG during the Sternberg working memory task. Source localization was performed by using the eLORETA software. Among the participants, 13 MCI and 15 control participants underwent a structural brain MRI examination.
Results: Event-related synchronization (ERS) in the beta frequency band was significantly (p<0.05) lower in MCI patients compared to healthy control participants during retention. In the MCI group, source localization revealed significantly attenuated beta oscillatory activity in the Inferior and Middle Temporal Gyrus, in the Fusiform Gyrus and in the Cuneus. Beta ERS correlated significantly with the size of the Hippocampus, Entorhinal Cortex, and Parahippocampal Gyrus.
Conclusion: During the retention period, MCI is characterized by decreased beta ERS compared to controls indicating early impairment in neural networks serving working memory maintenance. The assessment of electrophysiological changes in the beta frequency range may provide a useful diagnostic tool for the early detection of cognitive impairment.
Doctoral School: Mental Health Sciences
Supervisor: Gábor Csukly
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