F. J. Martinez-Murcia, J. M. Górriz, J. Ramírez, A. Ortiz and for the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative Pages 575 - 588 ( 14 )
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is of fundamental importance in neuroscience, providing good contrast and resolution, as well as not being considered invasive. Despite the development of newer techniques involving radiopharmaceuticals, it is still a recommended tool in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) neurological practice to assess neurodegeneration, and recent research suggests that it could reveal changes in the brain even before the symptomatology appears. In this paper we propose a method that performs a Spherical Brain Mapping, using different measures to project the three-dimensional MR brain images onto two-dimensional maps revealing statistical characteristics of the tissue. The resulting maps could be assessed visually, but also perform a significant feature reduction that will allow further supervised or unsupervised processing, reducing the computational load while maintaining a large amount of the original information. We have tested our methodology against a MRI database comprising 180 AD affected patients and 180 normal controls, where some of the mappings have revealed as an optimum strategy for the automatic processing and characterization of AD patterns, achieving up to a 90.9% of accuracy, as well as significantly reducing the computational load. Additionally, our maps allow the visual analysis and interpretation of the images, which can be of great help in the diagnosis of this and other types of dementia.
Alzheimer's Disease, Brain Structure, Feature Reduction, MRI, Visualization.
Department of Signal Theory, Networking and Communications, 18071 University of Granada, Spain.