Purpose: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) are representative disorders of dementia of the elderly and the neuroimaging has contributed to early diagnosis by estimation of alterations of brain volume, blood flow and metabolism. A brain network analysis by MR imaging (MR connectome) is a recently developed technique and can estimate the dysfunction of the brain network in AD and DLB. A graph theory which is a major technique of network analysis is useful for a group study to extract the feature of disorders, but is not necessarily suitable for the disorder differentiation at the individual level. In this investigation, we propose a deep learning technique as an alternative method of the graph analysis for recognition and classification of AD and DLB at the individual subject level.
Materials and Methods: Forty-eight brain structural connectivity data of 18 AD, 8 DLB and 22 healthy controls were applied to the machine learning consisting of a six-layer convolution neural network (CNN) model. Estimation of the deep learning model to classify AD, DLB and non-AD/DLB was performed using the 4-fold cross-validation method.
Results: The accuracy, average precision and recall of our CNN model were 0.73, 0.78 and 0.73, and the specificity precision and recall were 0.68 and 0.79 in AD, 0.94 and 0.65 in DLB and 0.73 and 0.75 in non-AD/DLB. The triangular probability map of the MR connectome revealed the probability of AD, DLB and non-AD/DLB in each subject.
Conclusion: Our preliminary investigation revealed the adaptation of deep learning to the MR connectome and proposed its utility in the differentiation of dementia disorders at the individual subject level.