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Recently graph theory and complex networks have been widely used as a mean to model functionality of the brain. Among different neuroimaging techniques available for constructing the brain functional networks, electroencephalography (EEG) with its high temporal resolution is a useful instrument of the analysis of functional interdependencies between different brain regions. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease, which leads to substantial cognitive decline, and eventually, dementia in aged people. To achieve a deeper insight into the behavior of functional cerebral networks in AD, here we study their synchronizability in 17 newly diagnosed AD patients compared to 17 healthy control subjects at no-task, eyes-closed condition. The cross-correlation of artifact-free EEGs was used to construct brain functional networks. The extracted networks were then tested for their synchronization properties by calculating the eigenratio of the Laplacian matrix of the connection graph, i.e., the largest eigenvalue divided by the second smallest one. In AD patients, we found an increase in the eigenratio, i.e., a decrease in the synchronizability of brain networks across delta, alpha, beta, and gamma EEG frequencies within the wide range of network costs. The finding indicates the destruction of functional brain networks in early AD.
Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:20 , Issue: 5 )
Date of Publication: Sept. 2012