A Machine Learning Framework for Predicting Dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment

Stamate, Daniel; Alghambdi, Wajdi; Ogg, Jeremy; Hoile, Richard and Murtagh, Fionn. 2019. 'A Machine Learning Framework for Predicting Dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment'. In: 17th IEEE International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications (ICMLA 2018). Orlando, Florida, United States 17-20 December 2018. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

Dementia is one of the most feared illnesses that has a growing year-to-year negative global impact, having a health and social care cost higher than cancer, stroke and chronic heart disease, taken together. Without the availability of a cure, nor a standardised clinical test, the utilisation of machine learning methods to identify individuals that are at risk of developing dementia could bring a new step towards proactive intervention. This study’s goal is to carry out a precursor analysis leading to building classification models with enhanced capabilities for differentiating diagnoses of CN (Cognitively Normal), MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment) and Dementia. The predictive modelling approach we propose is based on the ReliefF method combined with statistical permutation tests for feature selection, and on model training, tuning, and testing based on algorithms such as Random Forests, Support Vector Machines, Gaussian Processes, Stochastic Gradient Boosting, and eXtreme Gradient Boosting. Stability of model performances were studied in computationally intensive Monte Carlo simulations. The results consistently show that our models accurately detect dementia, and also mild cognitive impairment patients by only using the inclusion of baseline measurements as predictors, thus illustrating the importance of baseline measurements. The best results issued from Monte Carlo were achieved by eXtreme Gradient Boosting optimised models, with an accuracy of 0.88 (SD 0.02), a sensitivity of 0.93 (SD 0.02) and a specificity of 0.94 (SD 0.01) for dementia, and a sensitivity of 0.86 (SD 0.02) and a specificity of 0.9 (SD 0.02) for mild cognitive impairment. These results support in particular future developments for a risk-based method that can identify an individual’s risk of developing dementia.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Identification Number (DOI):



Dementia, Machine Learning, ReliefF, Statistical Permutation Tests, Support Vector Machines, Gaussian Processes, Stochastic Gradient Boosting, eXtreme Gradient Boosting, Monte Carlo Simulations

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



4 September 2018Accepted
17 January 2019Published

Event Location:

Orlando, Florida, United States

Date range:

17-20 December 2018

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

04 Nov 2019 12:26

Last Modified:

10 Jun 2021 07:36



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