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Current Alzheimer Research


ISSN (Print): 1567-2050
ISSN (Online): 1875-5828

Letter Article

Robust Discovery of Mild Cognitive Impairment Subtypes and Their Risk of Alzheimer's Disease Conversion Using Unsupervised Machine Learning and Gaussian Mixture Modeling

Author(s): Fahimeh Nezhadmoghadam*, Antonio Martinez-Torteya, Victor Treviño, Emmanuel Martínez, Alejandro Santos, Jose Tamez-Peña and Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

Volume 18, Issue 7, 2021

Published on: 31 August, 2021

Page: [595 - 606] Pages: 12

DOI: 10.2174/1567205018666210831145825

Price: $65


Background: Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. The ability to correctly predict the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease in its earliest stages can help physicians make more informed clinical decisions on therapy plans.

Objective: This study aimed to determine whether the unsupervised discovering of latent classes of subjects with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) may be useful in finding different prodromal AD stages and/or subjects with a low MCI to AD conversion risk.

Methods: Total 18 features relevant to the MCI to AD conversion process led to the identification of 681 subjects with early MCI. Subjects were divided into training (70%) and validation (30%) sets. Subjects from the training set were analyzed using consensus clustering, and Gaussian Mixture Models (GMM) were used to describe the latent classes. The discovered GMM predicted the latent class of the validation set. Finally, descriptive statistics, rates of conversion, and Odds Ratios (OR) were computed for each discovered class.

Results: Through consensus clustering, we discovered three different clusters among MCI subjects. The three clusters were associated with low-risk (OR = 0.12, 95%CI = 0.04 to 0.3|), medium-risk (OR = 1.33, 95%CI = 0.75 to 2.37), and high-risk (OR = 3.02, 95%CI = 1.64 to 5.57) of converting from MCI to AD, with the high-risk and low-risk groups highly contrasting. Hence, prodromal AD subjects were present in only two clusters.

Conclusion: We successfully discovered three different latent classes among MCI subjects with varied risks of MCI-to-AD conversion through consensus clustering. Two of the discovered classes may represent two different prodromal presentations of Alzheimer´s disease.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment, latent class analysis, consensus clustering, Gaussian mixture model, intracranial volume.

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