Objective: Mutual information provides a measure of both the linear and nonlinear statistical dependencies between two time series. Cross-mutual information (CMI) is used to quantify the information transmitted from one time series to another, while auto mutual information (AMI) in a time series estimates how much on average the value of the time series can be predicted from values of the time series at preceding points. The aim of this study is to assess information transmission between different cortical areas in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients by estimating the average CMI between EEG electrodes. Methods: We recorded the EEG from 16 scale electrodes in 15 AD patients and 15 age-matched normal controls, and estimated the local, distant, and interhemispheric CMIs of the EEG in both groups. The rate of decrease (with increasing delay) of the AMI of the EEG was also measured to evaluate the complexity of the EEG in AD patients. Results: The local CMI in AD subjects was lower than that in normal controls, especially over frontal and antero-temporal regions. A prominent decrease in information transmission between distant electrodes in the right hemisphere and between corresponding interhemispheric electrodes was detected in the AD patients. In addition, the AMIs throughout the cerebrums of the AD patients decreased significantly more slowly with delay than did the AMIs of normal controls. Conclusions: These results are consistent with previous findings that suggest the association of EEG abnormalities in AD patients with functional impairment of information transmission in long cortico-cortical connections. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.