A comparative study of GNN and MLP based machine learning for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease involving data synthesis

Ke Chen, Ying Weng, Akram A. Hosseini, Tom Dening, Guokun Zuo, Yiming Zhang

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease that commonly occurs in older people. It is characterized by both cognitive and functional impairment. However, as AD has an unclear pathological cause, it can be hard to diagnose with confidence. This is even more so in the early stage of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). This paper proposes a U-Net based Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) to synthesize fluorodeoxyglucose - positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) from magnetic resonance imaging - T1 weighted imaging (MRI-T1WI) for further usage in AD diagnosis including its early-stage MCI. The experiments have displayed promising results with Structural Similarity Index Measure (SSIM) reaching 0.9714. Furthermore, three types of classifiers are developed, i.e., one Multi-Layer Perceptron (MLP) based classifier, two Graph Neural Network (GNN) based classifiers where one is for graph classification and the other is for node classification. 10-fold cross-validation has been conducted on all trials of experiments for classifier comparison. The performance of these three types of classifiers has been compared with the different input modalities setting and data fusion strategies. The results have shown that GNN based node classifier surpasses the other two types of classifiers, and has achieved the state-of-the-art (SOTA) performance with the best accuracy at 90.18% for 3-class classification, namely AD, MCI and normal control (NC) with the synthesized fluorodeoxyglucose - positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) features fused at the input level. Moreover, involving synthesized FDG-PET as part of the input with proper data fusion strategies has also proved to enhance all three types of classifiers’ performance. This work provides support for the notion that machine learning-derived image analysis may be a useful approach to improving the diagnosis of AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-452
Number of pages11
JournalNeural Networks
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • Alzheimer's Disease (AD)
  • Data fusion
  • Graph Neural Network (GNN)
  • Synthesis model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Artificial Intelligence


Dive into the research topics of 'A comparative study of GNN and MLP based machine learning for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease involving data synthesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this