Research project lead by one of my Master’s student, submitted to Neurobiology of Aging.
Dementia of Alzheimer’s Type (DAT) is a complex disorder influenced by numerous factors, but it is unclear how each factor contributes to disease progression. An in-depth examination of these factors may yield an accurate estimate of time-to-conversion to DAT for patients at various disease stages. We used 401 subjects with 63 features from MRI, genetic, and CDC (Cognitive tests, Demographic, and CSF) data modalities in the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database. We used a deep learning-based survival analysis model that extends the classic Cox regression model to predict time-to-conversion to DAT. Our findings showed that genetic features contributed the least to survival analysis, while CDC features contributed the most. Combining MRI and genetic features improved survival prediction over using either modality alone, but adding CDC to any combination of features only worked as well as using only CDC features. Consequently, our study demonstrated that using the current clinical procedure, which includes gathering cognitive test results, can outperform survival analysis results produced using costly genetic or CSF data.