Random forest to differentiate dementia with Lewy bodies from Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimers Dement (Amst). 2016 Aug 19;4:99-106. doi: 10.1016/j.dadm.2016.07.003. eCollection 2016.


Introduction: The aim of this study was to build a random forest classifier to improve the diagnostic accuracy in differentiating dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) from Alzheimer's disease (AD) and to quantify the relevance of multimodal diagnostic measures, with a focus on electroencephalography (EEG).

Methods: A total of 66 DLB, 66 AD patients, and 66 controls were selected from the Amsterdam Dementia Cohort. Quantitative EEG (qEEG) measures were combined with clinical, neuropsychological, visual EEG, neuroimaging, and cerebrospinal fluid data. Variable importance scores were calculated per diagnostic variable.

Results: For discrimination between DLB and AD, the diagnostic accuracy of the classifier was 87%. Beta power was identified as the single-most important discriminating variable. qEEG increased the accuracy of the other multimodal diagnostic data with almost 10%.

Discussion: Quantitative EEG has a higher discriminating value than the combination of the other multimodal variables in the differentiation between DLB and AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Beta power; Dementia with Lewy bodies; Diagnostic accuracy; EEG; Machine learning; Random forest.