Automated detection of amnestic mild cognitive impairment in community-dwelling elderly adults: A combined spatial atrophy and white matter alteration approach

School of Design, Communication & Information Technology, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia.
NeuroImage (Impact Factor: 6.36). 08/2011; 59(2):1209-17. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.08.013
Source: PubMed


Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) is a syndrome widely considered to be prodromal Alzheimer's disease. Accurate diagnosis of aMCI would enable earlier treatment, and could thus help minimize the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease. The aim of the present study was to evaluate a magnetic resonance imaging-based automated classification schema for identifying aMCI. This was carried out in a sample of community-dwelling adults aged 70-90 years old: 79 with a clinical diagnosis of aMCI and 204 who were cognitively normal. Our schema was novel in using measures of both spatial atrophy, derived from T1-weighted images, and white matter alterations, assessed with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS). Subcortical volumetric features were extracted using a FreeSurfer-initialized Large Deformation Diffeomorphic Metric Mapping (FS+LDDMM) segmentation approach, and fractional anisotropy (FA) values obtained for white matter regions of interest. Features were ranked by their ability to discriminate between aMCI and normal cognition, and a support vector machine (SVM) selected an optimal feature subset that was used to train SVM classifiers. As evaluated via 10-fold cross-validation, the classification performance characteristics achieved by our schema were: accuracy, 71.09%; sensitivity, 51.96%; specificity, 78.40%; and area under the curve, 0.7003. Additionally, we identified numerous socio-demographic, lifestyle, health and other factors potentially implicated in the misclassification of individuals by our schema and those previously used by others. Given its high level of performance, our classification schema could facilitate the early detection of aMCI in community-dwelling elderly adults.

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    • "The group separation obtained for our dataset was accurate , with an AUC of 86% for GM volume and 87% for DTI measures. Previous studies have reported a similar AUC, with accuracy levels ranging from 72 to 96% for GM volume [Abdulkadir et al., 2011; Cuingnet et al., 2011; Kl€ oppel et al., 2008; Plant et al., 2010], or from 71 to 98% for DTI data [Cui et al., 2012; Dyrba et al., 2013; Gra~ na et al., 2011; Haller et al., 2010; O'Dwyer et al., 2012; Wee et al., 2012]. The AUC of 80% we obtained for rs-fMRI data compares favorably with the values reported by Wee et al. [2012], who obtained an AUC of 79% when separating MCI patients from healthy subjects on the basis of local clustering coefficient measures. "
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    ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients exhibit alterations in the functional connectivity between spatially segregated brain regions which may be related to both local gray matter (GM) atrophy as well as a decline in the fiber integrity of the underlying white matter tracts. Machine learning algorithms are able to automatically detect the patterns of the disease in image data, and therefore, constitute a suitable basis for automated image diagnostic systems. The question of which magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) modalities are most useful in a clinical context is as yet unresolved. We examined multimodal MRI data acquired from 28 subjects with clinically probable AD and 25 healthy controls. Specifically, we used fiber tract integrity as measured by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), GM volume derived from structural MRI, and the graph-theoretical measures 'local clustering coefficient' and 'shortest path length' derived from resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) to evaluate the utility of the three imaging methods in automated multimodal image diagnostics, to assess their individual performance, and the level of concordance between them. We ran the support vector machine (SVM) algorithm and validated the results using leave-one-out cross-validation. For the single imaging modalities, we obtained an area under the curve (AUC) of 80% for rs-fMRI, 87% for DTI, and 86% for GM volume. When it came to the multimodal SVM, we obtained an AUC of 82% using all three modalities, and 89% using only DTI measures and GM volume. Combined multimodal imaging data did not significantly improve classification accuracy compared to the best single measures alone. Hum Brain Mapp, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Human Brain Mapping
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    • "machines (SVMs), a machine learning algorithm for classification, to learn from training data and then classify a separate test set. Cui et al. (2012) used SVMs to classify amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) based on features indexing anatomical atrophy through segmentations of T1-weighted MRI and fraction anisotropy values from diffusion images using tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS). They ranked the features using Fisher scores, and selected the best performing subset using cross-validation. "
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    ABSTRACT: We compare a variety of different anatomic connectivity measures, including several novel ones, that may help in distinguishing Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients from controls. We studied diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging from 200 subjects scanned as part of the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. We first evaluated measures derived from connectivity matrices based on whole-brain tractography; next, we studied additional network measures based on a novel flow-based measure of brain connectivity, computed on a dense 3-dimensional lattice. Based on these 2 kinds of connectivity matrices, we computed a variety of network measures. We evaluated the measures' ability to discriminate disease with a repeated, stratified 10-fold cross-validated classifier, using support vector machines, a supervised learning algorithm. We tested the relative importance of different combinations of features based on the accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and feature ranking of the classification of 200 people into normal healthy controls and people with early or late mild cognitive impairment or AD.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Neurobiology of Aging
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    • "As this study focuses on amnestic type of MCI, hippocampal features are relevant. Hence preliminary experiments on classifying the sub-types using hippocampal volumes and shape features have been performed as well (24, 25). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) is considered to be the transitional stage between healthy aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Moreover, aMCI individuals with additional impairment in one or more non-memory cognitive domains are at higher risk of conversion to AD. Hence accurate identification of the sub-types of aMCI would enable earlier detection of individuals progressing to AD. Methods: We examine the group differences in cortical thickness between single-domain and multiple-domain sub-types of aMCI, and as well as with respect to age-matched controls in a well-balanced cohort from the Sydney Memory and Aging Study. In addition, the diagnostic value of cortical thickness in the sub-classification of aMCI as well as from normal controls using support vector machine (SVM) classifier is evaluated, using a novel cross-validation technique that can handle class-imbalance. Results: This study revealed an increased, as well as a wider spread, of cortical thinning in multiple-domain aMCI compared to single-domain aMCI. The best performances of the classifier for the pairs (1) single-domain aMCI and normal controls, (2) multiple-domain aMCI and normal controls, and (3) single and multiple-domain aMCI were AUC = 0.52, 0.66, and 0.54, respectively. The accuracy of the classifier for the three pairs was just over 50% exhibiting low specificity (44–60%) and similar sensitivity (53–68%). Conclusion: Analysis of group differences added evidence to the hypothesis that multiple-domain aMCI is a later stage of AD compared to single-domain aMCI. The classification results show that discrimination among single, multiple-domain sub-types of aMCI and normal controls is limited using baseline cortical thickness measures.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Frontiers in Neurology
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