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Improved Parkinson's Disease Classification from Diffusion MRI Data by Fisher Vector Descriptors

Salamanca, L.; Vlassis, N.; Diederich, N.; Bernard, F.; and Skupin A.
Download Presentation: Paper-MICCAI-Improved-PD-classification.pdf
Due to the complex clinical picture of Parkinson's disease (PD), the reliable diagnosis of patients is still challenging. A promising approach is the structural characterization of brain areas affected in PD by diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI). Standard classification methods depend on an accurate non-linear alignment of all images to a common reference template, and are challenged by the resulting huge dimensionality of the extracted feature space. Here, we propose a novel diagnosis pipeline based on the Fisher vector algorithm. This technique allows for a precise encoding into a high-level descriptor of standard diffusion measures like the fractional anisotropy and the mean diffusivity, extracted from the regions of interest (ROIs) typically involved in PD. The obtained low dimensional, fixed-length descriptors are independent of the image alignment and boost the linear separability of the problem in the description space, leading to more efficient and accurate diagnosis. In a test cohort of 50 PD patients and 50 controls, the implemented methodology outperforms previous methods when using a logistic linear regressor for classification of each ROI independently, which are subsequently combined into a single classification decision.