Prediction of Cognitive Test Scores from Variable Length Multimodal Data in Alzheimer’s Disease

Congratulations to Drs. David E Vaillancourt and Steven Trent DeKosky, on the publication of Prediction of Cognitive Test Scores from Variable Length Multimodal Data in Alzheimer’s Disease,” which appears in the July issue of Cognitive Computation.



Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurogenerative condition characterized by sharp cognitive decline with no confirmed effective treatment or cure. This makes it critically important to identify the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages before significant cognitive deterioration has taken hold and even before any brain morphology and neuropathology are noticeable. In this study, five different multimodal deep neural networks (MDNN), with different architectures, in search of an optimal model for predicting the cognitive test scores for the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the modified Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS-CoG13) over a span of 60 months (5 years). The multimodal data utilized to train and test the proposed models were obtained from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative study and includes cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of tau and beta-amyloid, structural measures from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), functional and metabolic measures from positron emission tomography (PET), and cognitive scores from the neuropsychological tests (Cog). The models developed herein delve into two main issues: (1) application merits of single-task vs. multitask for predicting future cognitive scores and (2) whether time-varying input data are better suited than specific timepoints for optimizing prediction results. This model yields a high of 90.27% (SD = 1.36) prediction accuracy (correlation) at 6 months after the initial visit to a lower 79.91% (SD = 8.84) prediction accuracy at 60 months. The analysis provided is comprehensive as it determines the predictions at all other timepoints and all MDNN models include converters in the CN and MCI groups (CNc, MCIc) and all the unstable groups in the CN and MCI groups (CNun and MCIun) that reverted to CN from MCI and to MCI from AD, so as not to bias the results. The results show that the best performance is achieved by a multimodal combined single-task long short-term memory (LSTM) regressor with an input sequence length of 2 data points (2 visits, 6 months apart) augmented with a pretrained Neural Network Estimator to fill in for the missing values.