Parietal Fast Sleep Spindle Density Decrease in Alzheimer's Disease and Amnesic Mild Cognitive Impairment

Camillo Marra, Paolo Maria Rossini, Maurizio Gorgoni, Giulia Lauri, Ilaria Truglia, Susanna Cordone, Simone Sarasso, Serena Scarpelli, Anastasia Mangiaruga, Aurora D'Atri, Daniela Tempesta, Michele Ferrara, Luigi De Gennaro

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57 Citations (Scopus)


Several studies have identified two types of sleep spindles: fast (13-15 Hz) centroparietal and slow (11-13 Hz) frontal spindles. Alterations in spindle activity have been observed in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Only few studies have separately assessed fast and slow spindles in these patients showing a reduction of fast spindle count, but the possible local specificity of this phenomenon and its relation to cognitive decline severity are not clear. Moreover, fast and slow spindle density have never been assessed in AD/MCI. We have assessed fast and slow spindles in 15 AD patients, 15 amnesic MCI patients, and 15 healthy elderly controls (HC). Participants underwent baseline polysomnographic recording (19 cortical derivations). Spindles during nonrapid eye movements sleep were automatically detected, and spindle densities of the three groups were compared in the derivations where fast and slow spindles exhibited their maximum expression (parietal and frontal, resp.). AD and MCI patients showed a significant parietal fast spindle density decrease, positively correlated with Minimental State Examination scores. Our results suggest that AD-related changes in spindle density are specific for frequency and location, are related to cognitive decline severity, and may have an early onset in the pathology development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalNeural Plasticity
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease
  • Amnesia
  • Attention
  • Brain
  • Brain Waves
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive Dysfunction
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neurology
  • Neurology (clinical)
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Sleep


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