The Use of Random Forests to Identify Brain Regions on Amyloid and FDG PET Associated With MoCA Score
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PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to evaluate random forests (RFs) to identify ROIs on F-florbetapir and F-FDG PET associated with Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) score. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty-seven subjects with significant white matter disease presenting with either transient ischemic attack/lacunar stroke or mild cognitive impairment from early Alzheimer disease, enrolled in a multicenter prospective observational trial, had MoCA and F-florbetapir PET; 55 had F-FDG PET. Scans were processed using the MINC toolkit to generate SUV ratios, normalized to cerebellar gray matter (F-florbetapir PET), or pons (F-FDG PET). SUV ratio data and MoCA score were used for supervised training of RFs programmed in MATLAB. RESULTS: F-Florbetapir PETs were randomly divided into 40 training and 17 testing scans; 100 RFs of 1000 trees, constructed from a random subset of 16 training scans and 20 ROIs, identified ROIs associated with MoCA score: right posterior cingulate gyrus, right anterior cingulate gyrus, left precuneus, left posterior cingulate gyrus, and right precuneus. Amyloid increased with decreasing MoCA score. F-FDG PETs were randomly divided into 40 training and 15 testing scans; 100 RFs of 1000 trees, each tree constructed from a random subset of 16 training scans and 20 ROIs, identified ROIs associated with MoCA score: left fusiform gyrus, left precuneus, left posterior cingulate gyrus, right precuneus, and left middle orbitofrontal gyrus. F-FDG decreased with decreasing MoCA score. CONCLUSIONS: Random forests help pinpoint clinically relevant ROIs associated with MoCA score; amyloid increased and F-FDG decreased with decreasing MoCA score, most significantly in the posterior cingulate gyrus.
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