Background: Prediction of treatment outcomes is a key step in improving the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). The Canadian Biomarker Integration Network in Depression (CAN-BIND) aims to predict antidepressant treatment outcomes through analyses of clinical assessment, neuroimaging, and blood biomarkers.
Methods: In the CAN-BIND-1 dataset of 192 adults with MDD and outcomes of treatment with escitalopram, we applied machine learning models in a nested cross-validation framework. Across 210 analyses, we examined combinations of predictive variables from three modalities, measured at baseline and after 2 weeks of treatment, and five machine learning methods with and without feature selection. To optimize the predictors-to-observations ratio, we followed a tiered approach with 134 and 1152 variables in tier 1 and tier 2 respectively.
Results: A combination of baseline tier 1 clinical, neuroimaging, and molecular variables predicted response with a mean balanced accuracy of 0.57 (best model mean 0.62) compared to 0.54 (best model mean 0.61) in single modality models. Adding week 2 predictors improved the prediction of response to a mean balanced accuracy of 0.59 (best model mean 0.66). Adding tier 2 features did not improve prediction.
Conclusions: A combination of clinical, neuroimaging, and molecular data improves the prediction of treatment outcomes over single modality measurement. The addition of measurements from the early stages of treatment adds precision. Present results are limited by lack of external validation. To achieve clinically meaningful prediction, the multimodal measurement should be scaled up to larger samples and the robustness of prediction tested in an external validation dataset.
Keywords: MDD; Machine learning; predictive analysis; treatment outcome.