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Brain Network Modeling Based on Mutual Information and Graph Theory for Predicting the Connection Mechanism in the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease

School of Computer Science and Engineering, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110169, China
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Entropy 2019, 21(3), 300; https://doi.org/10.3390/e21030300
Received: 19 January 2019 / Revised: 14 March 2019 / Accepted: 14 March 2019 / Published: 20 March 2019
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive disease that causes problems of cognitive and memory functions decline. Patients with AD usually lose their ability to manage their daily life. Exploring the progression of the brain from normal controls (NC) to AD is an essential part of human research. Although connection changes have been found in the progression, the connection mechanism that drives these changes remains incompletely understood. The purpose of this study is to explore the connection changes in brain networks in the process from NC to AD, and uncovers the underlying connection mechanism that shapes the topologies of AD brain networks. In particular, we propose a mutual information brain network model (MINM) from the perspective of graph theory to achieve our aim. MINM concerns the question of estimating the connection probability between two cortical regions with the consideration of both the mutual information of their observed network topologies and their Euclidean distance in anatomical space. In addition, MINM considers establishing and deleting connections, simultaneously, during the networks modeling from the stage of NC to AD. Experiments show that MINM is sufficient to capture an impressive range of topological properties of real brain networks such as characteristic path length, network efficiency, and transitivity, and it also provides an excellent fit to the real brain networks in degree distribution compared to experiential models. Thus, we anticipate that MINM may explain the connection mechanism for the formation of the brain network organization in AD patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; graph theory; mutual information; network model; connection mechanism; functional magnetic resonance imaging; topological structures; anatomical distance Alzheimer’s disease; graph theory; mutual information; network model; connection mechanism; functional magnetic resonance imaging; topological structures; anatomical distance
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Si, S.; Wang, B.; Liu, X.; Yu, C.; Ding, C.; Zhao, H. Brain Network Modeling Based on Mutual Information and Graph Theory for Predicting the Connection Mechanism in the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease. Entropy 2019, 21, 300.

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