Regional analysis of spontaneous MEG rhythms in patients with Alzheimer's disease using spectral entropies

J. Poza, R. Hornero, J. Escudero, A. Fernández and C. Sánchez

Annals of Biomedical Engineering 2008;36:141-152.



Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. Ageing is the greatest known risk factor for this disorder. Therefore, the prevalence of AD is expected to increase in western countries due to the rise in life expectancy. Nowadays, a low diagnosis accuracy is reached, but an early and accurate identification of AD should be attempted. In this sense, only a few studies have focused on the magnetoencephalographic (MEG) AD patterns. This work represents a new effort to explore the ability of three entropies from information theory to discriminate between spontaneous MEG rhythms from 20 AD patients and 21 controls. The Shannon (SSE), Tsallis (TSE), and R?nyi (RSE) spectral entropies were calculated from the time-frequency distribution of the power spectral density (PSD). The entropies provided statistically significant lower values for AD patients than for controls in all brain regions (p < 0.0005). This fact suggests a significant loss of irregularity in AD patients' MEG activity. Maximal accuracy of 87.8% was achieved by both the TSE and RSE (90.0%, sensitivity; 85.7%, specificity). The statistically significant results obtained by both the extensive (SSE and RSE) and non-extensive (TSE) spectral entropies suggest that AD could disturb long and short-range interactions causing an abnormal brain function.