Spectral power ratio as a measure of EEG changes in mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease: a case-control study

Aimee A. Flores-Sandoval (Lead / Corresponding author), Paula Davila-Pérez, Stephanie S. Buss, Kevin Donohoe, Margaret O'Connor, Mouhsin M. Shafi, Alvaro Pascual-Leone, Christopher S. Y. Benwell, Peter J. Fried (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Adopting preventive strategies in individuals with subclinical Alzheimer's disease (AD) has the potential to delay dementia onset and reduce healthcare costs. Thus, it is extremely important to identify inexpensive, scalable, sensitive, and specific markers to track disease progression. The electroencephalography spectral power ratio (SPR: the fast to slow spectral power ratio), a measure of the shift in power distribution from higher to lower frequencies, holds potential for aiding clinical practice. The SPR is altered in patients with AD, correlates with cognitive functions, and can be easily implemented in clinical settings. However, whether the SPR is sensitive to pathophysiological changes in the prodromal stage of AD is unclear. We explored the SPR of individuals diagnosed with amyloid-positive amnestic mild cognitive impairment (Aβ+aMCI) and its association with both cognitive function and amyloid load. The SPR was lower in Aβ+aMCI than in the cognitively unimpaired individuals and correlated with executive function scores but not with amyloid load. Hypothesis-generating analyses suggested that aMCI participants with a lower SPR had an increased probability of a positive amyloid positron emission tomography. Future research may explore the potential of this measure to classify aMCI individuals according to their AD biomarker status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-60
Number of pages11
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Early online date22 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Spectral power ratio
  • Amyloid
  • EEG
  • Neurophysiology


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