Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by progressive memory failures accompanied by microcirculation alterations. Particularly, impaired endothelial microvascular responsiveness and altered flow motion patterns have been observed in AD patients. Of note, the endothelium influences the vascular tone and also the small superficial blood vessels, which can be evaluated through infrared thermography (IRT). The advantage of IRT with respect to other techniques relies on its contactless features and its capability to preserve spatial information of the peripheral microcirculation. The aim of the study is to investigate peripheral microcirculation impairments in AD patients with respect to age-matched healthy controls (HCs) at resting state, through IRT and machine learning (ML) approaches. Particularly, several classifiers were tested, employing as regressors the power of the nose tip temperature time course in different physiological frequency bands. Among the ML classifiers tested, the Decision Tree Classifier (DTC) delivered the best cross-validated accuracy (accuracy = 82%) when discriminating between AD and HCs. The results further demonstrate the alteration of microvascular patterns in AD in the early stages of the pathology, and the capability of IRT to assess vascular impairments. These findings could be exploited in clinical practice, fostering the employment of IRT as a support for the early diagnosis of AD.

Altered Microcirculation in Alzheimer’s Disease Assessed by Machine Learning Applied to Functional Thermal Imaging Data

Perpetuini D.
Primo
;
Filippini C.
Secondo
;
Zito M.;Cardone D.
Penultimo
;
Merla A.
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by progressive memory failures accompanied by microcirculation alterations. Particularly, impaired endothelial microvascular responsiveness and altered flow motion patterns have been observed in AD patients. Of note, the endothelium influences the vascular tone and also the small superficial blood vessels, which can be evaluated through infrared thermography (IRT). The advantage of IRT with respect to other techniques relies on its contactless features and its capability to preserve spatial information of the peripheral microcirculation. The aim of the study is to investigate peripheral microcirculation impairments in AD patients with respect to age-matched healthy controls (HCs) at resting state, through IRT and machine learning (ML) approaches. Particularly, several classifiers were tested, employing as regressors the power of the nose tip temperature time course in different physiological frequency bands. Among the ML classifiers tested, the Decision Tree Classifier (DTC) delivered the best cross-validated accuracy (accuracy = 82%) when discriminating between AD and HCs. The results further demonstrate the alteration of microvascular patterns in AD in the early stages of the pathology, and the capability of IRT to assess vascular impairments. These findings could be exploited in clinical practice, fostering the employment of IRT as a support for the early diagnosis of AD.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/791233
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