Predictive Modeling of the Progression of Alzheimer's Disease with Recurrent Neural Networks

Tingyan Wang, Robin G. Qiu, Ming Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


The number of service visits of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients is different from each other and their visit time intervals are non-uniform. Although the literature has revealed many approaches in disease progression modeling, they fail to leverage these time-relevant part of patients' medical records in predicting disease's future status. This paper investigates how to predict the AD progression for a patient's next medical visit through leveraging heterogeneous medical data. Data provided by the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center includes 5432 patients with probable AD from August 31, 2005 to May 25, 2017. Long short-term memory recurrent neural networks (RNN) are adopted. The approach relies on an enhanced "many-to-one" RNN architecture to support the shift of time steps. Hence, the approach can deal with patients' various numbers of visits and uneven time intervals. The results show that the proposed approach can be utilized to predict patients' AD progressions on their next visits with over 99% accuracy, significantly outperforming classic baseline methods. This study confirms that RNN can effectively solve the AD progression prediction problem by fully leveraging the inherent temporal and medical patterns derived from patients' historical visits. More promisingly, the approach can be customarily applied to other chronic disease progression problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9161
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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