Diagnosis of brain dementia, particularly early mild cognitive impairment (eMCI), is critical for early intervention to prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease, where cognitive decline is severe and irreversible. There is a large body of machine-learning-based research investigating how dementia alters brain connectivity, mainly using structural (derived from diffusion magnetic resonance imaging [MRI]) and functional (derived from resting-state functional MRI) brain connectomic data. However, how early dementia affects cortical brain connections in morphology remains largely unexplored. To fill this gap, we propose a joint morphological brain multiplexes pairing and mapping strategy for eMCI detection, where a brain multiplex not only encodes the relationship in morphology between pairs of brain regions but also a pair of brain morphological networks. Experimental results confirm that the proposed framework outperforms in classification accuracy several state-of-the-art methods. More importantly, we unprecedentedly identified most discriminative brain morphological networks between eMCI and normal control (NC), which included the paired views derived from maximum principal curvature and the sulcal depth for the left hemisphere, and sulcal depth and the average curvature for the right hemisphere. We also identified the most highly correlated morphological brain connections in our cohort, which included the pericalcarine cortex and insula cortex on the maximum principal curvature view, entorhinal cortex and insula cortex on the mean sulcal depth view, and entorhinal cortex and pericalcarine cortex on the mean average curvature view for both hemispheres. These highly correlated morphological connections might serve as biomarkers for eMCI diagnosis.
- canonical correlation analysis
- convolutional brain multiplex
- cortex morphology
- early dementia diagnosis
- ensemble classifier
- morphological brain network