Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is thought to be a precursor to the development of early Alzheimer’s disease (AD). For early diagnosis of AD, the development of a model that is able to predict the conversion of amnestic MCI to AD is challenging. Using automatic whole-brain MRI analysis techniques and pattern classification methods, we developed a model to differentiate AD from healthy controls (HC), and then applied it to the prediction of MCI conversion to AD. Classification was performed using support vector machines (SVMs) together with a SVM-based feature selection method, which selected a set of most discriminating predictors for optimizing prediction accuracy. We obtained 90.5% cross-validation accuracy for classifying AD and HC, and 72.3% accuracy for predicting MCI conversion to AD. These analyses suggest that a classifier trained to separate HC vs. AD has substantial potential for predicting MCI conversion to AD
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