Artificial intelligence for diagnosis and prognosis in neuroimaging for dementia; a systematic review


Introduction Recent developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and neuroimaging offer new opportunities for improving diagnosis and prognosis of dementia. To synthesise the available literature, we performed a systematic review. Methods We systematically reviewed primary research publications up to January 2021, using AI for neuroimaging to predict diagnosis and/or prognosis in cognitive neurodegenerative diseases. After initial screening, data from each study was extracted, including: demographic information, AI methods, neuroimaging features, and results. Results We found 2709 reports, with 252 eligible papers remaining following screening. Most studies relied on the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) dataset (n=178) with no other individual dataset used more than 5 times. Algorithmic classifiers, such as support vector machine (SVM), were the most commonly used AI method (47%) followed by discriminative (32%) and generative (11%) classifiers. Structural MRI was used in 71% of studies with a wide range of accuracies for the diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases and predicting prognosis. Lower accuracy was found in studies using a multi-class classifier or an external cohort as the validation group. There was improvement in accuracy when neuroimaging modalities were combined, e.g. PET and structural MRI. Only 17 papers studied non-Alzheimer’s disease dementias. Conclusion The use of AI with neuroimaging for diagnosis and prognosis in dementia is a rapidly emerging field. We make a number of recommendations addressing the definition of key clinical questions, heterogeneity of AI methods, and the availability of appropriate and representative data. We anticipate that addressing these issues will enable the field to move towards meaningful clinical translation.