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Regional spectral ratios as potential neural markers to identify mild cognitive impairment related to Alzheimer’s disease

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 May 2022

Tien-Wen Lee
The NeuroCognitive Institute (NCI) Clinical Research Foundation, NJ 07856, USA New Energy Psychiatric Clinic, Taichung 433, Taiwan (ROC) Shih-Lin Psychiatric Clinic, Taichung 420, Taiwan (ROC)
Gerald Tramontano*
The NeuroCognitive Institute (NCI) Clinical Research Foundation, NJ 07856, USA
Author for correspondence: Gerald Tramontano, Email:



Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has prolonged asymptomatic or mild symptomatic periods. Given that there is an increase in treatment options and that early intervention could modify the disease course, it is desirable to devise biological indices that may differentiate AD and nonAD at mild cognitive impairment (MCI) stage.


Based on two well-acknowledged observations of background slowing (attenuation in alpha power and enhancement in theta and delta powers) and early involvement of posterior cingulate cortex (PCC, a neural hub of default-mode network), this study devised novel neural markers, namely, spectral ratios of alpha1 to delta and alpha1 to theta in the PCC.


We analysed 46 MCI patients, with 22 ADMCI and 24 nonADMCI who were matched in age, education, and global cognitive capability. Concordant with the prediction, the regional spectral ratios were lower in the ADMCI group, suggesting its clinical application potential.


Previous research has verified that neural markers derived from clinical electroencephalography may be informative in differentiating AD from other neurological conditions. We believe that the spectral ratios in the neural hubs that show early pathological changes can enrich the instrumental assessment of brain dysfunctions at the MCI (or pre-clinical) stage.

Short Communication
© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Scandinavian College of Neuropsychopharmacology

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