Atypical paroxysmal slow cortical activity in healthy adults: Relationship to age and cognitive performance

Lindsey Power, Alon Friedman, Timothy Bardouille

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Paroxysmal patterns of slow cortical activity have been detected in EEG recordings from individuals with age-related neuropathology and have been shown to be correlated with cognitive dysfunction and blood-brain barrier disruption in these participants. The prevalence of these events in healthy participants, however, has not been studied. In this work, we inspect MEG recordings from 623 healthy participants from the Cam-CAN dataset for the presence of paroxysmal slow wave events (PSWEs). PSWEs were detected in approximately 20% of healthy participants in the dataset, and participants with PSWEs tended to be older and have lower cognitive performance than those without PSWEs. In addition, event features changed linearly with age and cognitive performance, resulting in longer and slower events in older adults, and more widespread events in those with low cognitive performance. These findings provide the first evidence of PSWEs in a subset of purportedly healthy adults. Going forward, these events may have utility as a diagnostic biomarker for atypical brain activity in older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-57
Number of pages14
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Ageing
  • Big data
  • Cognition
  • MEG
  • Paroxysmal slow wave events
  • Transient bursts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Aging
  • General Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology


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