Electroencephalographic markers in dementia

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It is estimated that more than 35 million people worldwide lived with dementia in 2010, with the numbers expected to almost double every 20 years, the projected prevalence figures are set to rise to about 65 million in 2030 and close to 115 million in 2050.1 A normal electroencephalogram (EEG) in a patient with a clinical diagnosis of dementia should be a cause for reconsidering that diagnostic label and the possibility of pseudodementia should be entertained.2 An increase in EEG slow wave activity (theta and delta frequencies) together with decreased activity in the alpha frequency band are considered to be typical findings in the various types of dementia. Although these findings on their own without further characterization may not allow the classification of the various dementia syndromes, these EEG findings are different from those in people who have depression masquerading as dementia and people with mild cognitive difficulties due to normal ageing where the amount of slow wave activity is near normal.

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