In the study of neurological disorders, Electroencephalographic (EEG) signal processing can provide valuable information because abnormalities in the interaction between neuron circuits may reflect on macroscopic abnormalities in the electrical potentials that can be detected on the scalp. A Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) condition, when caused by a disorder degenerating into dementia, affects the brain connectivity. Motivated by the promising results achieved through the recently developed descriptor of coupling strength between EEG signals, the Permutation Disalignment Index (PDI), the present paper introduces a novel PDI-based complex network model to evaluate the longitudinal variations in brain-electrical connectivity. A group of 33 amnestic MCI subjects was enrolled and followed-up with over four months. The results were compared to MoCA (Montreal Cognitive Assessment) tests, which scores the cognitive abilities of the patient. A significant negative correlation could be observed between MoCA variation and the characteristic path length (l) variation (r = -0.56, p = 0.0006), whereas a significant positive correlation could be observed between MoCA variation and the variation of clustering coefficient (CC, r = 0.58, p = 0.0004), global efficiency (GE, r = 0.57, p = 0.0005) and small worldness (SW, r = 0.57, p = 0.0005). Cognitive decline thus seems to reflect an underlying cortical "disconnection" phenomenon: worsened subjects indeed showed an increased l and decreased CC, GE and SW. The PDI-based connectivity model, proposed in the present work, could be a novel tool for the objective quantification of longitudinal brain-electrical connectivity changes in MCI subjects.
|Titolo:||A permutation disalignment index-based complex network approach to evaluate longitudinal changes in brain-electrical connectivity|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|