Combining transcranial magnetic stimulation and electroencephalography may contribute to assess the severity of Alzheimer's disease.

International Journal of Alzheimer's Disease 2011:654794 (2011) PMID 21629763 PMCID PMC3100642

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of old age dementia, and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) often precedes AD. In our previous study (Julkunen et al. 2008), we found that the combination of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electroencephalography (EEG) was able to find distinct differences in AD and MCI patients as compared to controls. Here, we reanalyzed the small sample data from our previous study with the aim to test the sensitivity of the TMS-EEG characteristics to discriminate control subjects (n = 4) from MCI (n = 5) and AD (n = 5) subjects. Furthermore, we investigated how the TMS-EEG response characteristics related to the scores of the dementia rating scales used to evaluate the severity of cognitive decline in these subjects. We found that the TMS-EEG response P30 amplitude correlated with cognitive decline and showed good specificity and sensitivity in identifying healthy subjects from those with MCI or AD. Given the small sample size, further studies may be needed to confirm the results.

DOI: 10.4061/2011/654794