MRI-based Multi-task Decoupling Learning for Alzheimer's Disease Detection and MMSE Score Prediction: A Multi-site Validation

Accurately detecting Alzheimer's disease (AD) and predicting mini-mental state examination (MMSE) score are important tasks in elderly health by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Most of the previous methods on these two tasks are based on single-task learning and rarely consider the correlation between them. Since the MMSE score, which is an important basis for AD diagnosis, can also reflect the progress of cognitive impairment, some studies have begun to apply multi-task learning methods to these two tasks. However, how to exploit feature correlation remains a challenging problem for these methods. To comprehensively address this challenge, we propose a MRI-based multi-task decoupled learning method for AD detection and MMSE score prediction. First, a multi-task learning network is proposed to implement AD detection and MMSE score prediction, which exploits feature correlation by adding three multi-task interaction layers between the backbones of the two tasks. Each multi-task interaction layer contains two feature decoupling modules and one feature interaction module. Furthermore, to enhance the generalization between tasks of the features selected by the feature decoupling module, we propose the feature consistency loss constrained feature decoupling module. Finally, in order to exploit the specific distribution information of MMSE score in different groups, a distribution loss is proposed to further enhance the model performance. We evaluate our proposed method on multi-site datasets. Experimental results show that our proposed multi-task decoupled representation learning method achieves good performance, outperforming single-task learning and other existing state-of-the-art methods.

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