Purpose: Our study investigates whether a machine-learning-based system can predict the rate of cognitive decline in mildly cognitively impaired patients by processing only the clinical and imaging data collected at the initial visit.
Approach: We built a predictive model based on a supervised hybrid neural network utilizing a three-dimensional convolutional neural network to perform volume analysis of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and integration of nonimaging clinical data at the fully connected layer of the architecture. The experiments are conducted on the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative dataset.
Results: Experimental results confirm that there is a correlation between cognitive decline and the data obtained at the first visit. The system achieved an area under the receiver operator curve of 0.70 for cognitive decline class prediction.
Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first study that predicts “slowly deteriorating/stable” or “rapidly deteriorating” classes by processing routinely collected baseline clinical and demographic data [baseline MRI, baseline mini-mental state examination (MMSE), scalar volumetric data, age, gender, education, ethnicity, and race]. The training data are built based on MMSE-rate values. Unlike the studies in the literature that focus on predicting mild cognitive impairment (MCI)-to-Alzheimer‘s disease conversion and disease classification, we approach the problem as an early prediction of cognitive decline rate in MCI patients.