Abstract

The purposes of this study are to investigate whether the Characterizing Alzheimer’s disease Risk Events (CARE) index can accurately predict progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) on an individual subject basis, and to investigate whether this model can be generalized to an independent cohort. Using an event-based probabilistic model approach to integrate widely available biomarkers from behavioral data and brain structural and functional imaging, we calculated the CARE index. We then applied the CARE index to identify which MCI individuals from the ADNI dataset progressed to AD during a three-year follow-up period. Subsequently, the CARE index was generalized to the prediction of MCI individuals from an independent Nanjing Aging and Dementia Study (NADS) dataset during the same time period. The CARE index achieved high prediction performance with 80.4% accuracy, 75% sensitivity, 82% specificity, and 0.809 area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) on MCI subjects from the ADNI dataset over three years, and a highly validated prediction performance with 87.5% accuracy, 81% sensitivity, 90% specificity, and 0.861 AUC on MCI subjects from the NADS dataset. In conclusion, the CARE index is highly accurate, sufficiently robust, and generalized for predicting which MCI individuals will develop AD over a three-year period. This suggests that the CARE index can be usefully applied to select individuals with MCI for clinical trials and to identify which individuals will convert from MCI to AD for administration of early disease-modifying treatment.