Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 136921, 10 pages
Research Article

Classification of Parkinsonian Syndromes from FDG-PET Brain Data Using Decision Trees with SSM/PCA Features

1Johann Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 9, 9747 AG Groningen, Netherlands
2Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, 9700 RB Groningen, Netherlands
3Neuroimaging Center, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Antonius Deusinglaan 2, 9713 AW Groningen, Netherlands

Received 28 December 2014; Revised 9 March 2015; Accepted 14 March 2015

Academic Editor: Luca Faes

Copyright © 2015 D. Mudali et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Medical imaging techniques like fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) have been used to aid in the differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative brain diseases. In this study, the objective is to classify FDG-PET brain scans of subjects with Parkinsonian syndromes (Parkinson’s disease, multiple system atrophy, and progressive supranuclear palsy) compared to healthy controls. The scaled subprofile model/principal component analysis (SSM/PCA) method was applied to FDG-PET brain image data to obtain covariance patterns and corresponding subject scores. The latter were used as features for supervised classification by the C4.5 decision tree method. Leave-one-out cross validation was applied to determine classifier performance. We carried out a comparison with other types of classifiers. The big advantage of decision tree classification is that the results are easy to understand by humans. A visual representation of decision trees strongly supports the interpretation process, which is very important in the context of medical diagnosis. Further improvements are suggested based on enlarging the number of the training data, enhancing the decision tree method by bagging, and adding additional features based on (f)MRI data.