International Journal of Fuzzy Systems

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 913–927 | Cite as

Using Fuzzy Systems to Infer Memory Impairment from MRI

  • Yo-Ping HuangEmail author
  • Samuele M. M. Zaza
  • Wen-Jang Chu
  • Robert Krikorian
  • Frode Eika Sandnes


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a common form of dementia, which mostly affects elderly people. Gradual loss in memory and declining cognitive functions are core symptoms associated with AD. Conventional brain images do not provide sufficient information to diagnose AD at an early stage. To delay the progression of memory impairment, there is a dire need to develop systems capable of early AD diagnosis. This paper describes a proposed fuzzy method for inferring the risk of dementia using the brain cortical thickness and hippocampus thickness. The aim is to develop a reliable index that allows the evaluation of brain health. The dementia index poses potential to become a biologically based biomarker for the clinical assessment of patient’s dementia. Results show that the inference value of patient with mild cognitive impairment is significantly higher than that of healthy (control) or schizophrenia (SCZ) patients. Our results suggest that a higher inference value indicates that the patient is at higher risk and is more likely to eventually progress to AD. The system is also tested with age-associated memory impairment patients. The results confirm that our model is able to distinguish between these four patient groups.


AD Brain cortex Dementia risk Fuzzy system MRI 



This study was funded in part by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan, under Grants MOST105-2221-E-027-042- and MOST106-2221-E-027-001-, in part by the joint project between the National Taipei University of Technology and Mackay Memorial Hospital under Grants NTUT-MMH-105-04 and NTUT-MMH-106-03, and in part by the joint project between the National Taipei University of Technology and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital under Grants NTUT-CGMH-106-05.

Ethical Approval

Written informed consent was obtained from all participants. This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the University of Cincinnati (IRB 09-04-16-01EE). The research was conducted according to the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki. A detailed personal history, general health examination, and lifestyle questionnaire were conducted for all participants.


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Copyright information

© Taiwan Fuzzy Systems Association and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yo-Ping Huang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Samuele M. M. Zaza
    • 1
  • Wen-Jang Chu
    • 3
  • Robert Krikorian
    • 3
  • Frode Eika Sandnes
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Electrical EngineeringNational Taipei University of TechnologyTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Computer Science and Information EngineeringNational Taipei UniversityNew Taipei CityTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral NeuroscienceUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA
  4. 4.Faculty of Technology, Art and DesignOslo and Akershus University College of Applied SciencesOsloNorway
  5. 5.Faculty of TechnologyWesterdals School of Art, Communication and TechnologyOsloNorway

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