Collaborating Authors

Probabilistic Event Cascades for Alzheimer's disease

Neural Information Processing Systems

Accurate and detailed models of the progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's (AD) are crucially important for reliable early diagnosis and the determination and deployment of effective treatments. In this paper, we introduce the ALPACA (Alzheimer's disease Probabilistic Cascades) model, a generative model linking latent Alzheimer's progression dynamics to observable biomarker data. In contrast with previous works which model disease progression as a fixed ordering of events, we explicitly model the variability over such orderings among patients which is more realistic, particularly for highly detailed disease progression models. We describe efficient learning algorithms for ALPACA and discuss promising experimental results on a real cohort of Alzheimer's patients from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. Papers published at the Neural Information Processing Systems Conference.

Machine learning could help revolutionize early Alzheimer's diagnosis


Alzheimer's is a devastating chronic neurodegenerative disease that currently affects about 5.4 million people in the U.S. alone. Alzheimer's patients suffer progressive mental deterioration, which eventually impairs even basic bodily functions like walking and swallowing. While Alzheimer's can increasingly be managed, one of the big challenges of the disease is early diagnosis. MRI machines can be used to confirm advanced cases, but by the time the disease has reached this stage, brain tissue is gone and there is no way to restore it. Could machine-learning tools be used to help detect and identify Alzheimer's disease before it is currently possible to do so?

High-Order Multi-Task Feature Learning to Identify Longitudinal Phenotypic Markers for Alzheimer's Disease Progression Prediction

Neural Information Processing Systems

Alzheimer disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive impairment of memory and other cognitive functions. Regression analysis has been studied to relate neuroimaging measures to cognitive status. However, whether these measures have further predictive power to infer a trajectory of cognitive performance over time is still an under-explored but important topic in AD research. We propose a novel high-order multi-task learning model to address this issue. The proposed model explores the temporal correlations existing in data features and regression tasks by the structured sparsity-inducing norms.

Learning Brain Connectivity of Alzheimer's Disease from Neuroimaging Data

Neural Information Processing Systems

Recent advances in neuroimaging techniques provide great potentials for effective diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common form of dementia. Previous studies have shown that AD is closely related to alternation in the functional brain network, i.e., the functional connectivity among different brain regions. In this paper, we consider the problem of learning functional brain connectivity from neuroimaging, which holds great promise for identifying image-based markers used to distinguish Normal Controls (NC), patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), and patients with AD. More specifically, we study sparse inverse covariance estimation (SICE), also known as exploratory Gaussian graphical models, for brain connectivity modeling. In particular, we apply SICE to learn and analyze functional brain connectivity patterns from different subject groups, based on a key property of SICE, called the "monotone property" we established in this paper.