Diagnostic deep learning algorithms that use resting EEG to distinguish major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia from each other and from healthy volunteers Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Mood disorders and schizophrenia affect millions worldwide. Currently, diagnosis is primarily determined by reported symptomatology. As symptoms may overlap, misdiagnosis is common, potentially leading to ineffective or destabilizing treatment. Diagnostic biomarkers could significantly improve clinical care by reducing dependence on symptomatic presentation. METHODS: We used deep learning analysis (DLA) of resting electroencephalograph (EEG) to differentiate healthy control (HC) subjects (N = 239), from those with major depressive disorder (MDD) (N = 105), MDD-atypical (MDD-A) (N = 27), MDD-psychotic (MDD-P) (N = 35), bipolar disorder-depressed episode (BD-DE) (N = 71), BD-manic episode (BD-ME) (N = 49), and schizophrenia (SCZ) (N = 122) and also differentiate subjects with mental disorders on a pair-wise basis. DSM-III-R diagnoses were determined and supplemented by computerized Quick Diagnostic Interview Schedule. After EEG preprocessing, robust exact low-resolution electromagnetic tomography (ReLORETA) computed EEG sources for 82 brain regions. 20 % of all subjects were then set aside for independent testing. Feature selection methods were then used for the remaining subjects to identify brain source regions that are discriminating between diagnostic categories. RESULTS: Pair-wise classification accuracies between 90 % and 100 % were obtained using independent test subjects whose data were not used for training purposes. The most frequently selected features across various pairs are in the postcentral, supramarginal, and fusiform gyri, the hypothalamus, and the left cuneus. Brain sites discriminating SCZ from HC were mainly in the left hemisphere while those separating BD-ME from HC were on the right. LIMITATIONS: The use of superseded DSM-III-R diagnostic system and relatively small sample size in some disorder categories that may increase the risk of overestimation. CONCLUSIONS: DLA of EEG could be trained to autonomously classify psychiatric disorders with over 90 % accuracy compared to an expert clinical team using standardized operational methods.


  • Ravan, Maryam
  • Noroozi, Amin
  • Sanchez, Mary Margarette
  • Borden, Lee
  • Alam, Nafia
  • Flor-Henry, Pierre
  • Colic, Sinisa
  • Khodayari-Rostamabad, Ahmad
  • Minuzzi, Luciano
  • Hasey, Gary Marcel

publication date

  • February 2024