KDD Papers

Prognosis and Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease Using Multi-Task Learning

Saba Emrani (SAS Institute Inc);Anya McGuirk (SAS Institute Inc.);Wei Xiao (SAS Institute Inc.)


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a debilitating neurodegenerative disease excessively affecting millions of patients. Early diagnosis of PD is critical as manifestation of symptoms occur many years after the onset of neurodegenration, when more than 60% of dopaminergic neurons are lost. Since there is no definite diagnosis of PD, the early management of disease is a significant challenge in the field of PD therapeutics. Therefore, identifying valid biomarkers that can characterize the progression of PD has lately received growing attentions in PD research community. In this paper, we employ a multi-task learning regression framework for prediction of Parkinson’s disease progression, where each task is the prediction of PD rating scales at one future time point. We then use the model to identify the important biomarkers predictive of disease progression. We adopt a graph regularization approach to capture the relationship between different tasks and penalize large variations of the model at consecutive future time points. We have carried out comprehensive experiments using different categories of measurements at baseline from Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) database to predict the severity of PD, measured by unified PD rating scale. We use the learned model to identify the biomarkers with significant contribution in prediction of PD progression. Our results confirm some of the important biomarkers identified in existing medical studies, validate some of the biomarkers that have been observed as a potential marker of PD and discover new biomarkers that have not yet been investigated.