Autonomic impairment in Alzheimer's disease is revealed by complexity analysis of functional thermal imaging signals during cognitive tasks.

07:00 EST 8th February 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Autonomic impairment in Alzheimer's disease is revealed by complexity analysis of functional thermal imaging signals during cognitive tasks."

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by progressive memory failures and visuo-spatial impairment. Moreover, AD can be accompanied by autonomic system alterations, which, among others, affect thermoregulatory activity. We here investigated differences in autonomic activity between AD patients and healthy controls (HC) employing a complexity analysis of functional infrared imaging (fIRI) data acquired at rest and during the execution of clinical cognitive and mnemonic tests. FIRI allows for contact-less monitoring of autonomic activity and its thermoregulatory expression without interfering with the psychophysiological state of the subject preserving the free interaction with the doctor. The signal complexity analysis, based on the Sample Entropy, was compared to a standard frequency-based analysis of autonomic-related signals. AD patients exhibited lower complexity of fIRI signals during the tests which could be indicative of a stronger sympathetic activity with respect to HC. No significant effects were found at rest. No differences were found employing the frequency-based analysis. This study confirms that AD patients may exhibit peculiar autonomic responses associated with the execution of cognitive tasks that can be measured through fIRI. Moreover, these responses could be highlighted by a non-linear metric of signal predictability such as the Sample Entropy establishing autonomic impairment of AD patients. .


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Physiological measurement
ISSN: 1361-6579


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