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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2011, Article ID 280289, 10 pages
Review Article

Magnetoencephalography as a Putative Biomarker for Alzheimer's Disease

1Department of Neurology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
2Laboratory of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience, Center for Biomedical Technology, Complutense University of Madrid and Technical University of Madrid, Madrid 28040, Spain
3Department of Neurology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki FI-00029, Finland
4BioMag Laboratory, HUSLAB, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki FI-00029, Finland
5Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA15213, USA
6Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, VU University Medical Center, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
7Physics and Medical Technology Center, VU University Medical Center, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
8Department of Neurology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3206, USA
9Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3206, USA
10Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15250, USA
11Neuropsychology Research Program, University of Pittsburgh, Suite 830, 3501 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA

Received 1 November 2010; Accepted 15 February 2011

Academic Editor: James B. Brewer

Copyright © 2011 Edward Zamrini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is the most common dementia in the elderly and is estimated to affect tens of millions of people worldwide. AD is believed to have a prodromal stage lasting ten or more years. While amyloid deposits, tau filaments, and loss of brain cells are characteristics of the disease, the loss of dendritic spines and of synapses predate such changes. Popular preclinical detection strategies mainly involve cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers, magnetic resonance imaging, metabolic PET scans, and amyloid imaging. One strategy missing from this list involves neurophysiological measures, which might be more sensitive to detect alterations in brain function. The Magnetoencephalography International Consortium of Alzheimer's Disease arose out of the need to advance the use of Magnetoencephalography (MEG), as a tool in AD and pre-AD research. This paper presents a framework for using MEG in dementia research, and for short-term research priorities.