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Screening for Mild Cognitive Impairment Using a Machine Learning Classifier and the Remote Speech Biomarker for Cognition: Evidence from Two Clinically Relevant Cohorts

Schäfer, S., Mallick, E., Schwed, L., König, A., Zhao, J., Linz, N., Bodin, T. H., Skoog, J., Possemis, N., ter Huurne, D., Zettergren, A., Kern, S., Sacuiu, S., Ramakers, I., Skoog, I., & Tröger, J. (2023).
Published in: Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease91(3), 1165–1171.

Abstract

Background:

Modern prodromal Alzheimer’s disease (AD) clinical trials might extend outreach to a general population, causing high screen-out rates and thereby increasing study time and costs. Thus, screening tools that cost-effectively detect mild cognitive impairment (MCI) at scale are needed.

Objective:

Develop a screening algorithm that can differentiate between healthy and MCI participants in different clinically relevant populations.

Methods:

Two screening algorithms based on the remote ki:e speech biomarker for cognition (ki:e SB-C) were designed on a Dutch memory clinic cohort (N = 121) and a Swedish birth cohort (N = 404). MCI classification was each evaluated on the training cohort as well as on the unrelated validation cohort.

Results:

The algorithms achieved a performance of AUC  0.73 and AUC  0.77 in the respective training cohorts and AUC  0.81 in the unseen validation cohorts.

Conclusion:

The results indicate that a ki:e SB-C based algorithm robustly detects MCI across different cohorts and languages, which has the potential to make current trials more efficient and improve future primary health care.

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