Classification of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by brain volume, connectivity, and network dynamics.

Human Brain Mapping
Janine ThomeGeorgia Koppe


Emerging studies corroborate the importance of neuroimaging biomarkers and machine learning to improve diagnostic classification of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). While most studies focus on structural data, recent studies assessing functional connectivity between brain regions by linear methods highlight the role of brain function. These studies have yet to be combined with brain structure and nonlinear functional features. We investigate the role of linear and nonlinear functional brain features, and the benefit of combining brain structure and function for ALS classification. ALS patients (N = 97) and healthy controls (N = 59) underwent structural and functional resting state magnetic resonance imaging. Based on key hubs of resting state networks, we defined three feature sets comprising brain volume, resting state functional connectivity (rsFC), as well as (nonlinear) resting state dynamics assessed via recurrent neural networks. Unimodal and multimodal random forest classifiers were built to classify ALS. Out-of-sample prediction errors were assessed via five-fold cross-validation. Unimodal classifiers achieved a classification accuracy of 56.35-61.66%. Multimodal classifiers outperformed unimodal classifiers achievi...Continue Reading

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