Federated Morphometry Feature Selection for Hippocampal Morphometry Associated Beta-Amyloid and Tau Pathology

for the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques and tau protein tangles in the brain are now widely recognized as the defining hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), followed by structural atrophy detectable on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. One of the particular neurodegenerative regions is the hippocampus to which the influence of Aβ/tau on has been one of the research focuses in the AD pathophysiological progress. This work proposes a novel framework, Federated Morphometry Feature Selection (FMFS) model, to examine subtle aspects of hippocampal morphometry that are associated with Aβ/tau burden in the brain, measured using positron emission tomography (PET). FMFS is comprised of hippocampal surface-based feature calculation, patch-based feature selection, federated group LASSO regression, federated screening rule-based stability selection, and region of interest (ROI) identification. FMFS was tested on two Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) cohorts to understand hippocampal alterations that relate to Aβ/tau depositions. Each cohort included pairs of MRI and PET for AD, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and cognitively unimpaired (CU) subjects. Experimental results demonstrated that FMFS achieves an 89× speedup compared to other published state-of-the-art methods under five independent hypothetical institutions. In addition, the subiculum and cornu ammonis 1 (CA1 subfield) were identified as hippocampal subregions where atrophy is strongly associated with abnormal Aβ/tau. As potential biomarkers for Aβ/tau pathology, the features from the identified ROIs had greater power for predicting cognitive assessment and for survival analysis than five other imaging biomarkers. All the results indicate that FMFS is an efficient and effective tool to reveal associations between Aβ/tau burden and hippocampal morphometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number762458
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
StatePublished - Nov 25 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • amyloid-β (Aβ)/tau
  • federated learning
  • hippocampal morphometry
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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