Latent Processes Governing Neuroanatomical Change in Aging and Dementia
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Clinically normal aging and pathological processes cause structural changes in the brain. These changes likely occur in overlapping regions that accommodate neural systems with high susceptibility to deleterious factors. Due to the overlap, the separation between aging and pathological processes is challenging when analyzing brain structures independently. We propose to identify multivariate latent processes that govern cross-sectional and longitudinal neuroanatomical changes across the brain in aging and dementia. A discriminative representation of neuroanatomy is obtained from spectral shape descriptors in the BrainPrint. We identify latent factors by maximizing the covariance between morphological change and response variables of age and a proxy for dementia. Our results reveal cross-sectional and longitudinal patterns of change in neuroanatomy that distinguishes aging processes from disease processes. Finally, latent processes do not only yield a parsimonious model but also a significantly improved prediction accuracy.
This work was supported in part by the Faculty of Medicine at LMU (FöFoLe) and the Bavarian State Ministry of Education, Science and the Arts in the framework of the Centre Digitisation.Bavaria (ZD.B).