Multi-stage Biomarker Models for Progression Estimation in Alzheimer’s Disease
The estimation of disease progression in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) based on a vector of quantitative biomarkers is of high interest to clinicians, patients, and biomedical researchers alike. In this work, quantile regression is employed to learn statistical models describing the evolution of such biomarkers. Two separate models are constructed using (1) subjects that progress from a cognitively normal (CN) stage to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and (2) subjects that progress from MCI to AD during the observation window of a longitudinal study. These models are then automatically combined to develop a multi-stage disease progression model for the whole disease course. A probabilistic approach is derived to estimate the current disease progress (DP) and the disease progression rate (DPR) of a given individual by fitting any acquired biomarkers to these models. A particular strength of this method is that it is applicable even if individual biomarker measurements are missing for the subject. Employing cognitive scores and image-based biomarkers, the presented method is used to estimate DP and DPR for subjects from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). Further, the potential use of these values as features for different classification tasks is demonstrated. For example, accuracy of 64 % is reached for CN vs. MCI vs. AD classification.
KeywordsMild Cognitive Impairment Quantile Regression Cognitive Score Cognitive Normal Disease Progression Rate
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007 2013) under grant agreement no. 601055, VPH-DARE@IT.
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