Vol 48, No 1 (2014)

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Age-related changes in EEG coherence

Oldrich Vysata12, Jaromir Kukal3, Ales Prochazka2, Ladislav Pazdera4, Julius Simko1, Martin Valis1
DOI: 10.1016/j.pjnns.2013.09.001
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2014;48(1):35-38.

Abstract

Background and purpose

Coherence changes can reflect the pathophysiological processes involved in human ageing. We conducted a retrospective population study that sought to analyze the age-related changes in EEG coherence in a group of 17,722 healthy professional drivers.

Materials and methods

The EEGs were obtained using a standard 10–20 electrode configuration on the scalp. The recordings from 19 scalp electrodes were taken while the participants’ eyes were closed. The linear correlations between the age and coherence were estimated by linear regression analysis.

Results

Our results showed a significant decrease in coherence with age in the theta and alpha bands, and there was an increasing coherence with the beta bands. The most prominent changes occurred in the alpha bands. The delta bands contained movement artefacts, which most likely do not change with age.

Conclusions

The age-related EEG desynchrony can be partly explained by the age-related reduction of cortical connectivity. Higher frequencies of oscillations require less cortical area of high coherence. These findings explain why the lowest average coherence values were observed in the beta and sigma bands, as well as why the beta bands show borderline statistical significance and the sigma bands show non-significance. The age-dependent decrease in coherence may influence the estimation of age-related changes in EEG energy due to phase cancellation.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska