Connectivity and variability of related cognitive subregions lead to different stages of progression toward Alzheimer's disease

Jinhua Sheng*, Bocheng Wang, Qiao Zhang, Margaret Yu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Single modality MRI data is not enough to depict and discern the cause of the underlying brain pathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Most existing studies do not perform well with multi-group classification. To reveal the structural, functional connectivity and functional topological relationships among different stages of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD, a novel method was proposed in this paper for the analysis of regional importance with an improved deep learning model. Obvious drift of related cognitive regions can be observed in the prefrontal lobe and surrounding the cingulate area in the right hemisphere when comparing AD and healthy controls (HC) based on absolute weights in the classification mode. Alterations of these regions being responsible for cognitive impairment have been previously reported. Different parcellation atlases of the human cerebral cortex were compared, and the fine-grained multimodal parcellation HCPMMP performed the best with 180 cortical areas per hemisphere. In multi-group classification, the highest accuracy achieved was 96.86% with the utilization of structural and functional topological modalities as input to the training model. Weights in the trained model with perfect discriminating ability quantify the importance of each cortical region. This is the first time such a phenomenon is discovered and weights in cortical areas are precisely described in AD and its prodromal stages to the best of our knowledge. Our findings can establish other study models to differentiate the patterns in various diseases with cognitive impairments and help to identify the underlying pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere08827
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Multi-group classification
  • Multimodal cerebral cortical measures
  • Multimodal deep learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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