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Int J Neural Syst. 2017 Mar;27(2):1650039. doi: 10.1142/S0129065716500398. Epub 2016 May 3.

Deep Learning Representation from Electroencephalography of Early-Stage Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and Features for Differentiation from Rapidly Progressive Dementia.

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* University Mediterranea of Reggio Calabria, Italy.
∥ IRCCS Centro Neurolesi Bonino-Pulejo, Via Palermo c/da Casazza, SS. 113, Messina, Italy.
† Neurologic Institute "Carlo Besta", Milan, Italy.
‡ Institute of Neurology, University of Catania, Italy.
§ Magna Græcia University, Catanzaro, Italy.
¶ Regional Epilepsy Centre, Bianchi-Melacrino-Morelli Hospital, Reggio Calabria, Italy.


A novel technique of quantitative EEG for differentiating patients with early-stage Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) from other forms of rapidly progressive dementia (RPD) is proposed. The discrimination is based on the extraction of suitable features from the time-frequency representation of the EEG signals through continuous wavelet transform (CWT). An average measure of complexity of the EEG signal obtained by permutation entropy (PE) is also included. The dimensionality of the feature space is reduced through a multilayer processing system based on the recently emerged deep learning (DL) concept. The DL processor includes a stacked auto-encoder, trained by unsupervised learning techniques, and a classifier whose parameters are determined in a supervised way by associating the known category labels to the reduced vector of high-level features generated by the previous processing blocks. The supervised learning step is carried out by using either support vector machines (SVM) or multilayer neural networks (MLP-NN). A subset of EEG from patients suffering from Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and healthy controls (HC) is considered for differentiating CJD patients. When fine-tuning the parameters of the global processing system by a supervised learning procedure, the proposed system is able to achieve an average accuracy of 89%, an average sensitivity of 92%, and an average specificity of 89% in differentiating CJD from RPD. Similar results are obtained for CJD versus AD and CJD versus HC.


Alzheimer’s disease; CJD; EEG; SVM; classification; continuous wavelet transform; deep learning; dementia; subacute encephalopathies

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