Using Fuzzy Systems to Infer Memory Impairment from MRI
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.
KeywordsAD 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.
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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