Detection of prodromal Alzheimer's disease via pattern classification of magnetic resonance imaging

Neurobiol Aging. 2008 Apr;29(4):514-23. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2006.11.010. Epub 2006 Dec 14.


We report evidence that computer-based high-dimensional pattern classification of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) detects patterns of brain structure characterizing mild cognitive impairment (MCI), often a prodromal phase of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Ninety percent diagnostic accuracy was achieved, using cross-validation, for 30 participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Retrospective evaluation of serial scans obtained during prior years revealed gradual increases in structural abnormality for the MCI group, often before clinical symptoms, but slower increase for individuals remaining cognitively normal. Detecting complex patterns of brain abnormality in very early stages of cognitive impairment has pivotal importance for the detection and management of AD.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis*
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / metabolism
  • Cognition Disorders / pathology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / classification*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / classification*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies