A clinical trial to validate event-related potential markers of Alzheimer's disease in outpatient settings

Introduction We investigated whether event-related potentials (ERP) collected in outpatient settings and analyzed with standardized methods can provide a sensitive and reliable measure of the cognitive deficits associated with early Alzheimer's disease (AD). Methods A total of 103 subjects with probable mild AD and 101 healthy controls were recruited at seven clinical study sites. Subjects were tested using an auditory oddball ERP paradigm. Results Subjects with mild AD showed lower amplitude and increased latency for ERP features associated with attention, working memory, and executive function. These subjects also had decreased accuracy and longer reaction time in the target detection task associated with the ERP test. Discussion Analysis of ERP data showed significant changes in subjects with mild AD that are consistent with the cognitive deficits found in this population. The use of an integrated hardware/software system for data acquisition and automated data analysis methods make administration of ERP tests practical in outpatient settings.

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