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Neurophysiological prediction of cognitive decline in mild cognitive impairment: analysis of attention components

English title Neurophysiological prediction of cognitive decline in mild cognitive impairment: analysis of attention components
Applicant Giannakopoulos Panteleimon
Number 116193
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Service de Psychiatrie Gériatrique Département de Psychiatrie Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Surgery
Start/End 01.04.2007 - 31.03.2010
Approved amount 227'000.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Neurophysiology and Brain Research

Keywords (5)

attention; cognitive decline; electrophysiology; marker; mild cognitive impairment

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Background. Despite considerable efforts, the prediction of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) conversion to dementia remains a difficult task. In our previous SNF-supported studies, we have postulated that a better identification of MCI cases at risk for further cognitive deterioration could be achieved by defining early changes in neocortical connectivity during the successful performance of rapid cognitive tasks that may precede the development of overt pathological changes in this population. Our previously published data indicated the presence of early alterations in frontal lobe-related circuits subserving focused attention during working memory activation. Specific aims and working hypotheses. The present grant proposal aims at exploring the neurophysiological patterns during attentional activation in healthy elderly controls, MCI and AD cases and investigate whether early EEG changes in this context may predict rapid cognitive decline in MCI. For the cross-sectional part, the main objectives are: a. Compare EEG patterns of brain activation corresponding to the three attentional systems (alerting system, focused and divided attention, executive attentional control) during the successful performance of visual attention paradigms in healthy elderly controls, MCI and AD cases, b. Identify possible differences in the patterns of EEG activation associated with the low and higher attention levels between neurodegenerative MCI and vascular MCI cases, c. Using the time-frequency analysis, define the induced versus evoked components of brain oscillations and their alterations in MCI and AD. For the longitudinal part, the main objective is to investigate the predictive value of EEG markers (rhythms, amplitude and latency of ERP) in the context of MCI cognitive decline. Experimental design. The sample will include 50 cases for each diagnostic group (controls, neurodegenerative MCI, vascular MCI, AD). Subjects will perform the simplified version of the attention network test (ANT) designated to examine functional networks for alerting, orienting attention, and executive control as well as a modified version of the Sternberg’s memory search paradigm to explore focused attention, suppression of attention and divided attention. General EEG analysis will include ERP analysis, event-related synchronization/desynchronization, time-frequency and EEG coherence analysis, synchrony between areas and source localization. The longitudinal part of the study will include a one- and two- year neuropsychological follow-up of MCI cases. Significance of the project. In terms of cognitive neuropsychology, our project would allow to study the activation of neural generators during the successful performance of attentional paradigms in neurodegenerative MCI and vascular MCI. In terms of AD clinical research, the present project aims to explore an alternative way of prediction based on the identification of subtle alterations of cortical circuits during the successful activation of attention.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
129690 Early prediction of cognitive decline in very old individuals: combining disease-related, structural and functional markers 01.04.2010 Project funding (Div. I-III)
103770 Prédiction de la détérioration cognitive chez les sujets âgés normaux et avec troubles cognitifs légers à l'aide d'un nouveau marqueur éléctrophysiologique de la mémoire de travail 01.04.2004 Project funding (Div. I-III)