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Title: Permutation-based inference for spatially localized signals in longitudinal MRI data Authors:  Mark Fiecas - University of Minnesota (United States) [presenting]
Jun Young Park - University of Toronto (Canada)
Abstract: Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disease in which the degree of cortical atrophy in specific structures of the brain serves as a useful imaging biomarker. Recent approaches using linear mixed-effects (LME) models in longitudinal neuroimaging are powerful and flexible in investigating the temporal trajectories of cortical thickness. However, massive-univariate analysis, a simplified approach that obtains a summary statistic (e.g., a p-value) for every vertex along the cortex, is insufficient to model cortical atrophy because it does not account for spatial similarities of the signals in neighboring locations. In this article, we develop a permutation-based inference procedure to detect spatial clusters of vertices showing statistically significant differences in the rates of cortical atrophy. The proposed method, called SpLoc, uses spatial information to combine the signals adaptively across neighboring vertices, yielding high statistical power while controlling family-wise error rate (FWER) accurately. When the global null hypothesis is rejected, we use a cluster selection algorithm to detect the spatial clusters of significant vertices. We validate our method using simulation studies and apply it to the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) data to show its superior performance over existing methods.