Shuai Huang, Jing Li, Jieping Ye, Teresa Wu, Kewei Chen, Adam Fleisher, Eric Reiman
Diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) at the early stage of the disease development is of great clinical importance. Current clinical assessment that relies primarily on cognitive measures proves low sensitivity and specificity. The fast growing neuroimaging techniques hold great promise. Research so far has focused on single neuroimaging modalities. However, as different modalities provide complementary measures for the same disease pathology, fusion of multi-modality data may increase the statistical power in identification of disease-related brain regions. This is especially true for early AD, at which stage the disease-related regions are most likely to be weak-effect regions that are difficult to be detected from a single modality alone. We propose a sparse composite linear discriminant analysis model (SCLDA) for identification of disease-related brain regions of early AD from multi-modality data. SCLDA uses a novel formulation that decomposes each LDA parameter into a product of a common parameter shared by all the modalities and a parameter specific to each modality, which enables joint analysis of all the modalities and borrowing strength from one another. We prove that this formulation is equivalent to a penalized likelihood with non-convex regularization, which can be solved by the DC ((difference of convex functions) programming. We show that in using the DC programming, the property of the non-convex regularization in terms of preserving weak-effect features can be nicely revealed. We perform extensive simulations to show that SCLDA outperforms existing competing algorithms on feature selection, especially on the ability for identifying weak-effect features. We apply SCLDA to the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) images of 49 AD patients and 67 normal controls (NC). Our study identifies disease-related brain regions consistent with findings in the AD literature.