Going deeper with brain morphometry using neural networks

Brain morphometry from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a consolidated biomarker for many neurodegenerative diseases. Recent advances in this domain indicate that deep convolutional neural networks can infer morphometric measurements within a few seconds. Nevertheless, the accuracy of the devised model for insightful bio-markers (mean curvature and thickness) remains unsatisfactory. In this paper, we propose a more accurate and efficient neural network model for brain morphometry named HerstonNet. More specifically, we develop a 3D ResNet-based neural network to learn rich features directly from MRI, design a multi-scale regression scheme by predicting morphometric measures at feature maps of different resolutions, and leverage a robust optimization method to avoid poor quality minima and reduce the prediction variance. As a result, HerstonNet improves the existing approach by 24.30% in terms of intraclass correlation coefficient (agreement measure) to FreeSurfer silver-standards while maintaining a competitive run-time.

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