Affiliation: School of Medicine, Department of Radiology
Dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) networks derived from resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) help us understand fundamental dynamic characteristics of human brains, thereby providing an efficient solution for automated identification of brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and its prodromal stage. Existing studies have applied deep learning methods to dFC network analysis and achieved good performance compared with traditional machine learning methods. However, they seldom take advantage of sequential information conveyed in dFC networks that could be informative to improve the diagnosis performance. In this paper, we propose a convolutional recurrent neural network (CRNN) for automated brain disease classification with rs-fMRI data. Specifically, we first construct dFC networks from rs-fMRI data using a sliding window strategy. Then, we employ three convolutional layers and long short-term memory (LSTM) layer to extract high-level features of dFC networks and also preserve the sequential information of extracted features, followed by three fully connected layers for brain disease classification. Experimental results on 174 subjects with 563 rs-fMRI scans from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed method in binary and multi-category classification tasks.