Abstract In patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), it is sometimes challenging to identify typical findings in electroencephalography (EEG) or magnetoencephalography (MEG) such as a slowing of the posterior dominant activity or an increase in slow activity. In this MEG study, we evaluated the event-related synchronization (ERS) of alpha activity after eye closing in patients with early AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who presented no slow MEG pattern. Thirteen patients with probable AD and thirteen patients with MCI, who met NINCDS-ADRDA and Petersen's diagnostic criteria, respectively, were enrolled. We also selected fourteen age-matched normal control subjects. MEG activity was acquired during eye-open and eye-closed states. The ERS after eye closing within 8–15 Hz frequency band was calculated and its cortical source was superimposed on the individual's MRI by using the beamformer implemented in Brain Electrical Source Analysis (BESA). The Source image was converted into a standardized image, and group comparisons across patients with AD, MCI and controls were performed using BrainVoyager QX. The averaged ERS was observed dominantly in posterior regions in all three groups. Significant difference in ERS was observed only for the comparison between AD patients and controls, with AD patients showing increased ERS in frontal regions. Frontal shift of posterior alpha activity was observed clearly in AD patients using the combination of beamformer and group comparison.