Latent Class and Transition Analysis of Alzheimer's Disease Data

the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This study uses independent latent class analysis (LCA) and latent transition analysis (LTA) to explore accurate diagnosis and disease status change of a big Alzheimer's disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) data of 2,132 individuals over a 3-year period. The data includes clinical and neural measures of controls (CN), individuals with subjective memory complains (SMC), early-onset mild cognitive impairment (EMCI), late-onset mild cognitive impairment (LMCI), and Alzheimer's disease (AD). LCA at each time point yielded 3 classes: Class 1 is mostly composed of individuals from CN, SMC, and EMCI groups; Class 2 represents individuals from LMCI and AD groups with improved scores on memory, clinical, and neural measures; in contrast, Class 3 represents LMCI and from AD individuals with deteriorated scores on memory, clinical, and neural measures. However, 63 individuals from Class 1 were diagnosed as AD patients. This could be misdiagnosis, as their conditional probability of belonging to Class 1 (0.65) was higher than that of Class 2 (0.27) and Class 3 (0.08). LTA results showed that individuals had a higher probability of staying in the same class over time with probability >0.90 for Class 1 and 3 and probability >0.85 for Class 2. Individuals from Class 2, however, transitioned to Class 1 from time 2 to time 3 with a probability of 0.10. Other transition probabilities were not significant. Lastly, further analysis showed that individuals in Class 2 who moved to Class 1 have different memory, clinical, and neural measures to other individuals in the same class. We acknowledge that the proposed framework is sophisticated and time-consuming. However, given the severe neurodegenerative nature of AD, we argue that clinicians should prioritize an accurate diagnosis. Our findings show that LCA can provide a more accurate prediction for classifying and identifying the progression of AD compared to traditional clinical cut-off measures on neuropsychological assessments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number551481
JournalFrontiers in Computer Science
Publication statusPublished - Nov 20 2020


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • latent class analysis
  • latent transition analysis
  • misdiagnosis
  • neural markers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications


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