Detecting Abnormal Brain Regions in Schizophrenia Using Structural MRI via Machine Learning

Zhi Hong Chen, Tao Yan, Er Lei Wang, Hong Jiang, Yi Qian Tang, Xi Yu, Jian Zhang, Chang Liu, Horacio Rostro-Gonzalez

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Utilizing neuroimaging and machine learning (ML) to differentiate schizophrenia (SZ) patients from normal controls (NCs) and for detecting abnormal brain regions in schizophrenia has several benefits and can provide a reference for the clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia. In this study, structural magnetic resonance images (sMRIs) from SZ patients and NCs were used for discriminative analysis. This study proposed an ML framework based on coarse-to-fine feature selection. The proposed framework used two-sample t-tests to extract the differences between groups first, then further eliminated the nonrelevant and redundant features with recursive feature elimination (RFE), and finally utilized the support vector machine (SVM) to learn the decision models with selected gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) features. Previous studies have tended to report differences at the group level instead of at the individual level and cannot be widely applied. The method proposed in this study extends the diagnosis to the individual level and has a higher recognition rate than previous methods. The experimental results of this study demonstrate that the proposed framework distinguishes SZ patients from NCs, with the highest classification accuracy reaching over 85%. The identified biomarkers are also consistent with previous literature findings. As a universal method, the proposed framework can be extended to diagnose other diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6405930
JournalComputational Intelligence and Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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