Using Redescription Mining to Relate Clinical and Biological Characteristics of Cognitively Impaired and Alzheimer's Disease Patients

02/20/2017 ∙ by Matej Mihelčić, et al. ∙ 0

We used redescription mining to find interpretable rules revealing associations between those determinants that provide insights about the Alzheimer's disease (AD). We extended the CLUS-RM redescription mining algorithm to a constraint-based redescription mining (CBRM) setting, which enables several modes of targeted exploration of specific, user-constrained associations. Redescription mining enabled finding specific constructs of clinical and biological attributes that describe many groups of subjects of different size, homogeneity and levels of cognitive impairment. We confirmed some previously known findings. However, in some instances, as with the attributes: testosterone, the imaging attribute Spatial Pattern of Abnormalities for Recognition of Early AD, as well as the levels of leptin and angiopoietin-2 in plasma, we corroborated previously debatable findings or provided additional information about these variables and their association with AD pathogenesis. Applying redescription mining on ADNI data resulted with the discovery of one largely unknown attribute: the Pregnancy-Associated Protein-A (PAPP-A), which we found highly associated with cognitive impairment in AD. Statistically significant correlations (p <= 0.01) were found between PAPP-A and various different clinical tests. The high importance of this finding lies in the fact that PAPP-A is a metalloproteinase, known to cleave insulin-like growth factor binding proteins. Since it also shares similar substrates with A Disintegrin and the Metalloproteinase family of enzymes that act as α-secretase to physiologically cleave amyloid precursor protein (APP) in the non-amyloidogenic pathway, it could be directly involved in the metabolism of APP very early during the disease course. Therefore, further studies should investigate the role of PAPP-A in the development of AD more thoroughly.



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