Journal of Undergraduate Research


Alzheimer's disease, neurodegerative disease, diagnostic capacity


Family, Home, and Social Sciences




Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that always results in death. Unfortunately, the death that eventually comes is preceded by vicious symptoms. A patient with the disease slowly begins to lose memory and other cognitive abilities, robbing a person of their mind and life.

Alzheimer’s disease is becoming a major public health problem (Blennow, de Leon, & Zetterberg, 2006). In 2006, it was estimated that about one quarter of people of above the age of 85 years suffer from Alzheimer’s disease (Ferri, Prince, Brayne, Brodaty, Fratiglioni, Ganguli,… Scazufca). Because of how destructive this disease is to individuals, families and the community, the diagnosis and treatment of this disease is paramount. Unfortunately, current means of diagnosis are not sufficient. Techniques rely on diagnosing behavioral symptoms that have arisen in a patient (McKhann, Knopman, Chertkow, Hyman, Jack Jr., Kawas,… Phelps, 2011). But, if the behavioral symptoms have begun to manifest, this means that neurodegeneration has already occurred and there is no way to reverse this. Therefore, there are many groups that are working on ways to diagnose the disease early, ranging from biochemical assays to neuroimaging techniques. In this study we looked at the predictive capacity of data collected from an electroencephalogram (EEG). If the EEG can be used in this diagnostic way then it would provide a nonintrusive, inexpensive way to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.

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