Collaborating Authors


Deep Learning Used to Detect Earliest Stages of Alzheimer's


The rise of precision medicine is being augmented by greater use of deep learning technologies that provide predictive analytics for earlier diagnosis of a range of debilitating diseases. The latest example comes from researchers at Michigan-based Beaumont Health who used deep learning to analyze genomic DNA. The resulting simple blood test could be used to detect earlier onset of Alzheimer's disease. In a study published this week in the peer-reviewed scientific journal PLOS ONE, the researchers said their analysis discovered 152 "significant" genetic differences among Alzheimer's and healthy patients. Those biomarkers could be used to provide diagnoses before Alzheimer's symptoms develop and a patient's brain is irreversibly damaged.

Enhancing Medical Image Registration via Appearance Adjustment Networks Artificial Intelligence

Deformable image registration is fundamental for many medical image analyses. A key obstacle for accurate image registration is the variations in image appearance. Recently, deep learning-based registration methods (DLRs), using deep neural networks, have computational efficiency that is several orders of magnitude greater than traditional optimization-based registration methods (ORs). A major drawback, however, of DLRs is a disregard for the target-pair-specific optimization that is inherent in ORs and instead they rely on a globally optimized network that is trained with a set of training samples to achieve faster registration. Thus, DLRs inherently have degraded ability to adapt to appearance variations and perform poorly, compared to ORs, when image pairs (fixed/moving images) have large differences in appearance. Hence, we propose an Appearance Adjustment Network (AAN) where we leverage anatomy edges, through an anatomy-constrained loss function, to generate an anatomy-preserving appearance transformation. We designed the AAN so that it can be readily inserted into a wide range of DLRs, to reduce the appearance differences between the fixed and moving images. Our AAN and DLR's network can be trained cooperatively in an unsupervised and end-to-end manner. We evaluated our AAN with two widely used DLRs - Voxelmorph (VM) and FAst IMage registration (FAIM) - on three public 3D brain magnetic resonance (MR) image datasets - IBSR18, Mindboggle101, and LPBA40. The results show that DLRs, using the AAN, improved performance and achieved higher results than state-of-the-art ORs.

Detection of Alzheimer's Disease Using Graph-Regularized Convolutional Neural Network Based on Structural Similarity Learning of Brain Magnetic Resonance Images Artificial Intelligence

Objective: This paper presents an Alzheimer's disease (AD) detection method based on learning structural similarity between Magnetic Resonance Images (MRIs) and representing this similarity as a graph. Methods: We construct the similarity graph using embedded features of the input image (i.e., Non-Demented (ND), Very Mild Demented (VMD), Mild Demented (MD), and Moderated Demented (MDTD)). We experiment and compare different dimension-reduction and clustering algorithms to construct the best similarity graph to capture the similarity between the same class images using the cosine distance as a similarity measure. We utilize the similarity graph to present (sample) the training data to a convolutional neural network (CNN). We use the similarity graph as a regularizer in the loss function of a CNN model to minimize the distance between the input images and their k-nearest neighbours in the similarity graph while minimizing the categorical cross-entropy loss between the training image predictions and the actual image class labels. Results: We conduct extensive experiments with several pre-trained CNN models and compare the results to other recent methods. Conclusion: Our method achieves superior performance on the testing dataset (accuracy = 0.986, area under receiver operating characteristics curve = 0.998, F1 measure = 0.987). Significance: The classification results show an improvement in the prediction accuracy compared to the other methods. We release all the code used in our experiments to encourage reproducible research in this area

'AI algorithm can predict Alzheimer's disease in 1 minute'


A study by Vuno, a Korean artificial intelligence (AI) developer, showed that a deep learning algorithm could predict Alzheimer's disease (AD) within one minute. Jointly with Asan Medical Center, Vuno verified an AI algorithm using MRI scans of 2,727 patients registered at domestic medical institutions. Vuno found that the algorithm predicted AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) accurately. Vuno's deep learning-based algorithm used an area under the curve (AUC) to predict dementia. The closer the AUC value is, the higher the algorithm's performance is.

Achievements and Challenges in Explaining Deep Learning based Computer-Aided Diagnosis Systems Artificial Intelligence

Remarkable success of modern image-based AI methods and the resulting interest in their applications in critical decision-making processes has led to a surge in efforts to make such intelligent systems transparent and explainable. The need for explainable AI does not stem only from ethical and moral grounds but also from stricter legislation around the world mandating clear and justifiable explanations of any decision taken or assisted by AI. Especially in the medical context where Computer-Aided Diagnosis can have a direct influence on the treatment and well-being of patients, transparency is of utmost importance for safe transition from lab research to real world clinical practice. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of current state-of-the-art in explaining and interpreting Deep Learning based algorithms in applications of medical research and diagnosis of diseases. We discuss early achievements in development of explainable AI for validation of known disease criteria, exploration of new potential biomarkers, as well as methods for the subsequent correction of AI models. Various explanation methods like visual, textual, post-hoc, ante-hoc, local and global have been thoroughly and critically analyzed. Subsequently, we also highlight some of the remaining challenges that stand in the way of practical applications of AI as a clinical decision support tool and provide recommendations for the direction of future research.

Recalibration of Neural Networks for Point Cloud Analysis Artificial Intelligence

Spatial and channel re-calibration have become powerful concepts in computer vision. Their ability to capture long-range dependencies is especially useful for those networks that extract local features, such as CNNs. While re-calibration has been widely studied for image analysis, it has not yet been used on shape representations. In this work, we introduce re-calibration modules on deep neural networks for 3D point clouds. We propose a set of re-calibration blocks that extend Squeeze and Excitation blocks and that can be added to any network for 3D point cloud analysis that builds a global descriptor by hierarchically combining features from multiple local neighborhoods. We run two sets of experiments to validate our approach. First, we demonstrate the benefit and versatility of our proposed modules by incorporating them into three state-of-the-art networks for 3D point cloud analysis: PointNet++, DGCNN, and RSCNN. We evaluate each network on two tasks: object classification on ModelNet40, and object part segmentation on ShapeNet. Our results show an improvement of up to 1% in accuracy for ModelNet40 compared to the baseline method. In the second set of experiments, we investigate the benefits of re-calibration blocks on Alzheimer's Disease (AD) diagnosis. Our results demonstrate that our proposed methods yield a 2% increase in accuracy for diagnosing AD and a 2.3% increase in concordance index for predicting AD onset with time-to-event analysis. Concluding, re-calibration improves the accuracy of point cloud architectures, while only minimally increasing the number of parameters.

Semi-Structured Deep Piecewise Exponential Models Artificial Intelligence

We propose a versatile framework for survival analysis that combines advanced concepts from statistics with deep learning. The presented framework is based on piecewise exponential models and thereby supports various survival tasks, such as competing risks and multi-state modeling, and further allows for estimation of time-varying effects and time-varying features. To also include multiple data sources and higher-order interaction effects into the model, we embed the model class in a neural network and thereby enable the simultaneous estimation of both inherently interpretable structured regression inputs as well as deep neural network components which can potentially process additional unstructured data sources. A proof of concept is provided by using the framework to predict Alzheimer's disease progression based on tabular and 3D point cloud data and applying it to synthetic data.

Neuro-symbolic Neurodegenerative Disease Modeling as Probabilistic Programmed Deep Kernels Machine Learning

We present a probabilistic programmed deep kernel learning approach to personalized, predictive modeling of neurodegenerative diseases. Our analysis considers a spectrum of neural and symbolic machine learning approaches, which we assess for predictive performance and important medical AI properties such as interpretability, uncertainty reasoning, data-efficiency, and leveraging domain knowledge. Our Bayesian approach combines the flexibility of Gaussian processes with the structural power of neural networks to model biomarker progressions, without needing clinical labels for training. We run evaluations on the problem of Alzheimer's disease prediction, yielding results surpassing deep learning and with the practical advantages of Bayesian non-parametrics and probabilistic programming.

How a machine learning algorithm could identify the early stages of Alzheimer's in patients - Mental Daily


A study published in the Journal of Medical Imaging unveils the use of machine learning to detect the early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD) by functional magnetic resonance imaging. Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative condition primarily occurring in late-adulthood and begins with symptoms of cognitive decline. Researchers from Texas Tech University developed a deep-learning algorithm called a convolutional neural network able to distinguish between the fMRI signals of healthy individuals, patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and patients with Alzheimer's. "We present one such synergy of fMRI and deep learning, where we apply a simplified yet accurate method using a modified 3D convolutional neural networks to resting-state fMRI data for feature extraction and classification of Alzheimer's disease," the co-authors explained in their findings. "The convolutional neural network is designed in such a way that it uses the fMRI data with much less preprocessing, preserving both spatial and temporal information."

Artificial intelligence-based algorithm for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer's


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects a significant proportion of the older population worldwide. It causes irreparable damage to the brain and severely impairs the quality of life in patients. Unfortunately, AD cannot be cured, but early detection can allow medication to manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a noninvasive diagnostic technique for brain disorders. It measures minute changes in blood oxygen levels within the brain over time, giving insight into the local activity of neurons.