A Bayesian latent spatial model for mapping the cortical signature of progression to Alzheimer's disease

for the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Prior studies have shown that atrophy in vulnerable cortical regions is associated with an increased risk of progression to clinical dementia. In this work, we utilize the longitudinal structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) to investigate the relationship between the temporally changing spatial topography of cortical thickness and conversion from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's disease (AD). We develop a novel Bayesian latent spatial model that employs the spatial information underlying the thickness effects across the cortical surface. The proposed method facilitates the development of imaging markers by reliably quantifying and mapping the regional vulnerability to AD progression across the cortical surface. Simulation results showed substantial gains in statistical power and estimation performance by accounting for the spatial structure of the association. Using MRI data from ADNI, we examined the topographic patterns of anatomic regions where cortical thinning is associated with an increased risk of developing AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-62
Number of pages17
JournalCanadian Journal of Statistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 12 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Data collection and sharing for this project was funded by the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI; Principal Investigator Michael W. Weiner, MD) and Department of Defense ADNI. ADNI is funded by the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, and through generous contributions from the following: AbbVie, Alzheimer's Association; Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation; Araclon Biotech; BioClinica, Inc.; Biogen; Bristol‐Myers Squibb Company; CereSpir, Inc.; Cogstate; Eisai Inc.; Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Eli Lilly and Company; EuroImmun; F. Hoffmann‐La Roche Ltd and its affiliated company Genentech, Inc.; Fujirebio; GE Healthcare; IXICO Ltd.; Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy Research & Development, LLC.; Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development LLC.; Lumosity; Lundbeck; Merck & Co., Inc.; Meso Scale Diagnostics, LLC.; NeuroRx Research; Neurotrack Technologies; Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; Pfizer Inc.; Piramal Imaging; Servier; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company; and Transition Therapeutics. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research is providing funds to support ADNI clinical sites in Canada. Private sector contributions are facilitated by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health ( www.fnih.org ). The grantee organization is the Northern California Institute for Research and Education, and the study is coordinated by the Alzheimer's Therapeutic Research Institute at the University of Southern California. ADNI data are disseminated by the Laboratory for NeuroImaging at the University of Southern California. The authors would like to thank James S. Hodges for helpful conversations.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Statistical Society of Canada


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Bayesian modelling
  • longitudinal studies
  • spatial statistics
  • survival analysis


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