Predicting cognitive dysfunction and regional hubs using Braak staging amyloid-beta biomarkers and machine learning

Puskar Bhattarai, Ahmed Taha, Bhavin Soni, Deepa S. Thakuri, Erin Ritter, Ganesh B. Chand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a transitional stage between normal aging and early Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The presence of extracellular amyloid-beta (Aβ) in Braak regions suggests a connection with cognitive dysfunction in MCI/AD. Investigating the multivariate predictive relationships between regional Aβ biomarkers and cognitive function can aid in the early detection and prevention of AD. We introduced machine learning approaches to estimate cognitive dysfunction from regional Aβ biomarkers and identify the Aβ-related dominant brain regions involved with cognitive impairment. We employed Aβ biomarkers and cognitive measurements from the same individuals to train support vector regression (SVR) and artificial neural network (ANN) models and predict cognitive performance solely based on Aβ biomarkers on the test set. To identify Aβ-related dominant brain regions involved in cognitive prediction, we built the local interpretable model-agnostic explanations (LIME) model. We found elevated Aβ in MCI compared to controls and a stronger correlation between Aβ and cognition, particularly in Braak stages III–IV and V–VII (p < 0.05) biomarkers. Both SVR and ANN, especially ANN, showed strong predictive relationships between regional Aβ biomarkers and cognitive impairment (p < 0.05). LIME integrated with ANN showed that the parahippocampal gyrus, inferior temporal gyrus, and hippocampus were the most decisive Braak regions for predicting cognitive decline. Consistent with previous findings, this new approach suggests relationships between Aβ biomarkers and cognitive impairment. The proposed analytical framework can estimate cognitive impairment from Braak staging Aβ biomarkers and delineate the dominant brain regions collectively involved in AD pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number33
JournalBrain Informatics
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Amyloid-beta
  • Braak staging
  • Feature importance
  • Machine learning
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Neuroimaging

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