A computational neurodegenerative disease progression score: Method and results with the Alzheimer's disease neuroimaging initiative cohort.

Department of Applied Math and Statistics, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
NeuroImage (Impact Factor: 6.13). 08/2012; 63(3):1478-1486. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.07.059
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT While neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by steady degeneration over relatively long timelines, it is widely believed that the early stages are the most promising for therapeutic intervention, before irreversible neuronal loss occurs. Developing a therapeutic response requires a precise measure of disease progression. However, since the early stages are for the most part asymptomatic, obtaining accurate measures of disease progression is difficult. Longitudinal databases of hundreds of subjects observed during several years with tens of validated biomarkers are becoming available, allowing the use of computational methods. We propose a widely applicable statistical methodology for creating a disease progression score (DPS), using multiple biomarkers, for subjects with a neurodegenerative disease. The proposed methodology was evaluated for Alzheimer's disease (AD) using the publicly available AD Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database, yielding an Alzheimer's DPS or ADPS score for each subject and each time-point in the database. In addition, a common description of biomarker changes was produced allowing for an ordering of the biomarkers. The Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test delayed recall was found to be the earliest biomarker to become abnormal. The group of biomarkers comprising the volume of the hippocampus and the protein concentration amyloid beta and Tau were next in the timeline, and these were followed by three cognitive biomarkers. The proposed methodology thus has potential to stage individuals according to their state of disease progression relative to a population and to deduce common behaviors of biomarkers in the disease itself.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: A cognitive concern from the patient, informant, or clinician is required for the diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI); however, the cognitive and neuroanatomical correlates of complaint are poorly understood. Objective: We assessed how self-complaint relates to cognitive and neuroimaging measures in older adults with MCI. Method: MCI participants were drawn from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative and dichotomized into two groups based on the presence of self-reported memory complaint (no complaint n = 191, 77 ± 7 years; complaint n = 206, 73 ± 8 years). Cognitive outcomes included episodic memory, executive functioning, information processing speed, and language. Imaging outcomes included regional lobar volumes (frontal, parietal, temporal, cingulate) and specific medial temporal lobe structures (hippocampal volume, entorhinal cortex thickness, parahippocampal gyrus thickness). Results: Linear regressions, adjusting for age, gender, race, education, Mini-Mental State Examination score, mood, and apolipoprotein E4 status, found that cognitive complaint related to immediate (β = -1.07, p < 0.001) and delayed episodic memory performances assessed on a serial list learning task (β = -1.06, p = 0.001) but no other cognitive measures or neuroimaging markers. Conclusions: Self-reported memory concern was unrelated to structural neuroimaging markers of atrophy and measures of information processing speed, executive functioning, or language. In contrast, memory self-complaint related to objective verbal episodic learning performance. Future research is warranted to better understand the relation between cognitive complaint and surrogate markers of abnormal brain aging, including Alzheimer's disease, across the cognitive aging spectrum.
    Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 10/2014; 44(1). DOI:10.3233/JAD-140636 · 3.61 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Regulatory qualification of a biomarker for a defined context of use provides scientifically robust assurances to sponsors and regulators that accelerate appropriate adoption of biomarkers into drug development.
    Alzheimer's & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer's Association 07/2014; 10(4):421-429.e3. DOI:10.1016/j.jalz.2013.07.003 · 14.48 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), which has a high risk of progression to Alzheimer's disease (AD), can be classified into single domain (S-aMCI) and multiple domain (M-aMCI) subtypes. We investigated the integrity of regional gray matter and segments of the cingulum bundle with diffusion spectrum imaging tract-specific analysis, and their relationships to neuropsychological functioning, in 46 individuals with aMCI (S-aMCI n = 24; M-aMCI n = 22) and 36 healthy controls (HC). Results demonstrated that although both aMCI groups were impaired on all memory measures relative to HCs, the M-aMCI group demonstrated worse performance on paired association memory and on selective executive function relative to the S-aMCI group. The two aMCI groups did not show significant atrophy in regional gray matter indices as compared to the HC group, but the M-aMCI group showed significant disruption in white matter of the left anterior and inferior cingulum bundles relative to the S-aMCI and HC groups. Furthermore, disruption in the inferior cingulum bundles was significantly associated with executive function and attention/processing speed in all aMCI participants above and beyond the contribution of bilateral hippocampal volumes. Overall, these results indicate that the degeneration of cingulum fibers did not appear to arise from degeneration of the corresponding cerebral cortex. It also suggests relatively greater sensitivity of a white matter biomarker and comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation over gray matter biomarkers in early detection of AD.
    Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 09/2014; 44(1). DOI:10.3233/JAD-141839 · 3.61 Impact Factor


Available from
May 31, 2014