Background: The challenge of differentiating, at an early stage, Parkinson’s disease from parkinsonism caused by other disorders remains unsolved. We proposed using an artificial neural network (ANN) to process images of dopamine transporter single-photon emission computed tomography (DAT-SPECT). Methods: Abnormal DAT-SPECT images of subjects with Parkinson’s disease and parkinsonism caused by other disorders were divided into training and test sets. Striatal regions of the images were segmented by using an active contour model and were used as the data to perform transfer learning on a pre-trained ANN to discriminate Parkinson’s disease from parkinsonism caused by other disorders. A support vector machine trained using parameters of semi-quantitative measurements including specific binding ratio and asymmetry index was used for comparison. Results: The predictive accuracy of the ANN classifier (86%) was higher than that of the support vector machine classifier (68%). The sensitivity and specificity of the ANN classifier in predicting Parkinson’s disease were 81.8% and 88.6%, respectively. Conclusions: The ANN classifier outperformed classical biomarkers in differentiating Parkinson’s disease from parkinsonism caused by other disorders. This classifier can be readily included into standalone computer software for clinical application.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)