The Power of EEG to Predict Conversion from Mild Cognitive Impairment and Subjective Cognitive Decline to Dementia

Knut Engedal, Maria Lage Barca, Peter Høgh, Birgitte Bo Andersen, Nanna Winther Dombernowsky, Mala Naik, Thorkell Eli Gudmundsson, Anne-Rita Øksengaard, Lars-Olof Wahlund, Jon Snaedal

12 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to examine if quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) using the statistical pattern recognition (SPR) method could predict conversion to dementia in patients with subjective cognitive decline (SCD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

METHODS: From 5 Nordic memory clinics, we included 47 SCD patients, 99 MCI patients, and 67 healthy controls. EEGs analyzed with the SPR method together with clinical data recorded at baseline were evaluated. The patients were followed up for a mean of 62.5 (SD 17.6) months and reexamined.

RESULTS: Of 200 participants with valid clinical information, 70 had converted to dementia, and 52 had developed Alzheimer's disease. Receiver-operating characteristic analysis of the EEG results as defined by a dementia index (DI) ranging from 0 to 100 revealed that the area under the curve was 0.78 (95% CI 0.70-0.85), corresponding to a sensitivity of 71%, specificity of 69%, and accuracy of 69%. A logistic regression analysis showed that by adding results of a cognitive test at baseline to the EEG DI, accuracy could improve.

CONCLUSION: We conclude that applying qEEG using the automated SPR method can be helpful in identifying patients with SCD and MCI that have a high risk of converting to dementia over a 5-year period. As the discriminant power of the method is of moderate degree, it should be used in addition to routine diagnostic methods.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)38-47
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Dementia
  • EEG
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Subjective cognitive decline


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