AAAI Publications, Workshops at the Twenty-Seventh AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Machine Learning Techniques for Diagnostic Differentiation of Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia
Jennifer A. Williams, Alyssa Weakley, Diane J. Cook, Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe

Last modified: 2013-06-29


Detection of cognitive impairment, especially at the early stages, is critical. Such detection has traditionally been performed manually by one or more clinicians based on reports and test results. Machine learning algorithms offer an alternative method of detection that may provide an automated process and valuable insights into diagnosis and classification. In this paper, we explore the use of neuropsychological and demographic data to predict Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scores (no dementia, very mild dementia, dementia) and clinical diagnoses (cognitively healthy, mild cognitive impairment, dementia) through the implementation of four machine learning algorithms, naïve Bayes (NB), C4.5 decision tree (DT), back-propagation neural network (NN), and support vector machine (SVM). Additionally, a feature selection method for reducing the number of neuropsychological and demographic data needed to make an accurate diagnosis was investigated. The NB classifier provided the best accuracies, while the SVM classifier proved to offer some of the lowest accuracies. We also illustrate that with the use of feature selection, accuracies can be improved. The experiments reported in this paper indicate that artificial intelligence techniques can be used to automate aspects of clinical diagnosis of individuals with cognitive impairment.


machine learning; dementia; mild cognitive impairment; classification; feature selection

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