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Frontiers in Neuroscience

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Alzheimer's disease, Medical research, Experimental Medicine, Methods


Automatic identification of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data can eectively assist to doctors diagnose and treat Alzheimer’s. Current methods improve the accuracy of AD recognition, but they are insufficient to address the challenge of small interclass and large intraclass dierences. Some studies attempt to embed patch-level structure in neural networks which enhance pathologic details, but the enormous size and time complexity render these methods unfavorable. Furthermore, several self-attention mechanisms fail to provide contextual information to represent discriminative regions, which limits the performance of these classifiers. In addition, the current loss function is adversely aected by outliers of class imbalance and may fall into local optimal values. Therefore, we propose a 3D Residual RepVGG Attention network (ResRepANet) stacked with several lightweight blocks to identify the MRI of brain disease, which can also trade o accuracy and flexibility. Specifically, we propose a Non-local Context Spatial Attention block (NCSA) and embed it in our proposed ResRepANet, which aggregates global contextual information in spatial features to improve semantic relevance in discriminative regions. In addition, in order to reduce the influence of outliers, we propose a Gradient Density Multiple-weighting Mechanism (GDMM) to automatically adjust the weights of each MRI image via a normalizing gradient norm. Experiments are conducted on datasets from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) and Australian Imaging, Biomarker and Lifestyle Flagship Study of Aging (AIBL). Experiments on both datasets show that the accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and Area Under the Curve are consistently better than for state-of-the-art methods.


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