Background: Extracting fundamental information from data, thus underlining hidden structures or removing noisy information, is one of the most important aims in different scientific fields especially in biological and medical sciences. In this article, we propose an innovative complex network application able to identify salient links for detecting the effect of Alzheimer's disease on brain connectivity. We first build a network model of brain connectivity from structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) data, then we study salient networks retrieved from the original ones. Results: Investigating informative power of the salient skeleton features in combination with those of the original networks we obtain an accuracy of 0.91 pm 0.01 0.91 ± 0.01 for the distinction of Alzheimer disease (AD) patients from normal controls (NC). This performance significantly overcomes accuracy of the original network features. Moreover salient networks are able to correctly discriminate normal controls (NC) from AD patients and NC from subjects with mild cognitive impairment that will convert to AD (cMCI). These evaluations, performed on an independent dataset, give an accuracy of 0.79 pm 0.01 0.79 ± 0.01 and 0.76 pm 0.01 0.76 ± 0.01 respectively for NC-AD and NC-cMCI classifications. Therefore, most of the informative content of the original networks is kept after the 92 % % and 82 % % reduction respectively in the number of nodes and links. In addition, the present approach, applied to a publicly available MRI dataset from the Alzheimer Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), brings out also some interesting aspects related to the topologies and hubs of the networks. Conclusions: The experimental results demonstrate how salient networks can highlight important brain network characteristics and structural pathological changes, while reducing considerably data complexity and computational requirements.
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|Titolo:||Salient networks: a novel application to study Alzheimer disease|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|