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Open Access Research article

Resting state in Alzheimer's disease: a concurrent analysis of Flash-Visual Evoked Potentials and quantitative EEG

Antonio Tartaglione136*, Luciano Spadavecchia4, Marco Maculotti5 and Fabio Bandini23

Author Affiliations

1 Dept of Neurology, Ospedale S. Andrea, La Spezia, Italy

2 Dept of Neurology, Ospedale S. Paolo, Savona, Italy

3 Dept of Neurology, DINOG, University of Genova, Genova, Italy

4 Istituto di Biofisica, CNR Genova, Genova, Italy

5 Dept. Scienze Neuroriabilitative - Casa di Cura Privata del Policlinico s.p.a., Milano, Italy

6 Centro “La Missione” – Sarzana, La Spezia, Italy

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BMC Neurology 2012, 12:145  doi:10.1186/1471-2377-12-145

Published: 28 November 2012



To investigate to what extent Alzheimer's Disease (AD) affects Resting State activity, the possible impairment of independent electrophysiological parameters was determined in Eye-open and Eye-closed Conditions. Specifically, Flash-Visual Evoked Potential (F-VEP) and quantitative EEG (q-EEG) were examined to establish whether abnormalities of the former were systematically associated with changes of the latter.


Concurrently recorded F-VEP and q-EEG were comparatively analysed under Eye-open and Eye-closed Conditions in 11 Controls and 19 AD patients presenting a normal Pattern-Visual Evoked Potential (P-VEP). Between Condition differences in latencies of P2 component were matched to variations in spectral components of q-EEG.


P2 latency increased in 10 AD patients with Abnormal Latency (AD-AL) under Eye-closed Condition. In these patients reduction of alpha activity joined an increased delta power so that their spectral profile equated that recorded under Eye-open Condition. On the opposite, in Controls as well as in AD patients with Normal P2 Latency (AD-NL) spectral profiles recorded under Eye-open and Eye-closed Conditions significantly differed from each other. At the baseline, under Eye-open Condition, the spectra overlapped each other in the three Groups.


Under Eye-closed Condition AD patients may present a significant change in both F-VEP latency and EEG rhythm modulation. The presence of concurrent changes of independent parameters suggests that the neurodegenerative process can impair a control system active in Eye-closed Condition which the electrophysiological parameters depend upon. F-VEP can be viewed as a reliable marker of such impairment.

Alzheimer's disease; F-VEP; q-EEG; Resting state; Eye-closed; Eye-open; Dementia