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Estimating brain age from structural MRI and MEG data: insights from dimensionality reduction techniques

Estimating brain age from structural MRI and MEG data: insights from dimensionality reduction techniques

Xifra-Porxas, Alba ORCID: 0000-0002-9023-2432, Ghosh, Arna, Mitsis, Georgios D. and Boudrias, Marie-Helene (2021) Estimating brain age from structural MRI and MEG data: insights from dimensionality reduction techniques. NeuroImage, 231:117822. ISSN 1053-8119 (doi:

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Brain age prediction studies aim at reliably estimating the difference between the chronological age of an individual and their predicted age based on neuroimaging data, which has been proposed as an informative measure of disease and cognitive decline. As most previous studies relied exclusively on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data, we hereby investigate whether combining structural MRI with functional magnetoencephalography (MEG) information improves age prediction using a large cohort of healthy subjects (N = 613, age 18–88 years) from the Cam-CAN repository. To this end, we examined the performance of dimensionality reduction and multivariate associative techniques, namely Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA), to tackle the high dimensionality of neuroimaging data. Using MEG features (mean absolute error (MAE) of 9.60 years) yielded worse performance when compared to using MRI features (MAE of 5.33 years), but a stacking model combining both feature sets improved age prediction performance (MAE of 4.88 years). Furthermore, we found that PCA resulted in inferior performance, whereas CCA in conjunction with Gaussian process regression models yielded the best prediction performance. Notably, CCA allowed us to visualize the features that significantly contributed to brain age prediction. We found that MRI features from subcortical structures were more reliable age predictors than cortical features, and that spectral MEG measures were more reliable than connectivity metrics. Our results provide an insight into the underlying processes that are reflective of brain aging, yielding promise for the identification of reliable biomarkers of neurodegenerative diseases that emerge later during the lifespan.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: age prediction, brain aging, magnetic resonance imaging, magnetoencephalography, machine learning, canonical correlation analysis
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2021 14:05
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None

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