This review examines event-related potentials (ERPs) as under-utilised clinical and research instruments which could play a role in the diagnosis and evaluation of neurological / psychiatric disorders, including dementia. ERPs are noninvasive and reflect cortical neuronal activity directly.
Previous studies using the P300 (Parietocentral Positivity), P3a (Frontocentrally Maximal Positive ERP), and MMN (Mismatch Negativity) components of the ERP to study dementia are reviewed. It appears that the P300 brain potential is particularly sensitive to Alzheimer’s Disease in its early stages, and that simple stimulus discrimination tasks are most useful clinically. The evidence suggests that the P300 ERP could be used in the diagnosis of dementia and in the assessment of early Alzheimer’s Disease.
Vecchio, F. [and] Määttä, S. (2011). The use of auditory event-related potentials in Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis. International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, May 15th 2011. [Epub ahead of print]. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).