Cognitive biomarker prioritization in Alzheimer’s Disease using brain morphometric data

BACKGROUND: Cognitive assessments represent the most common clinical routine for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Given a large number of cognitive assessment tools and time-limited office visits, it is important to determine a proper set of cognitive tests for different subjects. Most current studies create guidelines of cognitive test selection for a targeted population, but they are not customized for each individual subject. In this manuscript, we develop a machine learning paradigm enabling personalized cognitive assessments prioritization.
METHOD: We adapt a newly developed learning-to-rank approach [Formula: see text] to implement our paradigm. This method learns the latent scoring function that pushes the most effective cognitive assessments onto the top of the prioritization list. We also extend [Formula: see text] to better separate the most effective cognitive assessments and the less effective ones.
RESULTS: Our empirical study on the ADNI data shows that the proposed paradigm outperforms the state-of-the-art baselines on identifying and prioritizing individual-specific cognitive biomarkers. We conduct experiments in cross validation and level-out validation settings. In the two settings, our paradigm significantly outperforms the best baselines with improvement as much as 22.1% and 19.7%, respectively, on prioritizing cognitive features.
CONCLUSIONS: The proposed paradigm achieves superior performance on prioritizing cognitive biomarkers. The cognitive biomarkers prioritized on top have great potentials to facilitate personalized diagnosis, disease subtyping, and ultimately precision medicine in AD.