Prediction of MCI Conversion via MRI, CSF Biomarkers, and Pattern Classification
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) patterns were examined together with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers in serial scans of Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) participants with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The SPARE-AD score, summarizing brain atrophy patterns, was tested as a predictor of short-term conversion to Alzheimer's disease (AD). MCI individuals that converted to AD (MCI-C) had mostly positive baseline SPARE-AD (Spatial Pattern of Abnormalities for Recognition of Early AD) and atrophy in temporal lobe gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM), posterior cingulate/precuneous, and insula. MCI individuals that converted to AD had mostly AD-like baseline CSF biomarkers. MCI nonconverters (MCI-NC) had mixed baseline SPARE-AD and CSF values, suggesting that some MCI-NC subjects may later convert. Those MCI-NC with most negative baseline SPARE-AD scores (normal brain structure) had significantly higher baseline Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores (28.67) than others, and relatively low annual rate of Mini Mental State Examination decrease (-0.25). MCI-NC with midlevel baseline SPARE-AD displayed faster annual rates of SPARE-AD increase (indicating progressing atrophy). SPARE-AD and CSF combination improved prediction over individual values. In summary, both SPARE-AD and CSF biomarkers showed high baseline sensitivity, however, many MCI-NC had abnormal baseline SPARE-AD and CSF biomarkers. Longer follow-up will elucidate the specificity of baseline measurements.