Kullback-Leibler Entropy Analysis of the Electroencephalogram Background Activity in Alzheimer's Disease Patients

Daniel Abásolo, Dionisio Muñoz, and Pedro Espino


Biomedical signal processing, Electroencephalogram, Alzheimer’s disease, KullbackLeibler entropy


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most frequent form of dementia in western countries. An early detection would be beneficial, but currently diagnostic accuracy is relatively poor. In this study, differences in information content between cortical areas in 12 AD patients and 11 control subjects were assessed with Kullback-Leibler (KL) entropy. KL entropy measures the degree of similarity between two probability distributions. EEGs were recorded from 19 scalp electrodes and KL entropy values of the EEGs in both groups were estimated for the local, distant and interhemispheric electrodes. KL entropy values were lower in AD patients than in age-matched control subjects, with significant effects for diagnosis and brain region (p < 0.05, two-way ANOVA). No significant interaction for diagnosis X region was found (p = 0.7671). Additionally a one-way ANOVA showed that KL entropy values were significantly lower in AD patients (p < 0.05) for the distant electrodes on the right hemisphere. These results suggest that KL entropy highlights information content changes in the EEG due to AD. However, further studies are needed to address the possible usefulness of KL entropy in the characterisation and early detection of AD.

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