Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disorder associated with fatigue, pain, and structural/functional abnormalities seen during magnetic resonance brain imaging (MRI). Therefore, we evaluated the performance of structural MRI (sMRI) abnor- malities in the classification of CFS patients versus healthy controls and compared it to machine learning (ML) classification based upon self-report (SR). Participants included 18 CFS patients and 15 healthy controls (HC). All subjects underwent T1-weighted sMRI and provided visual analogue-scale ratings of fatigue, pain intensity, anxiety, depression, anger, and sleep quality. sMRI data were segmented using FreeSurfer and 61 regions based on functional and structural abnormalities previ- ously reported in patients with CFS. Classification was performed in RapidMiner using a linear support vector machine and bootstrap optimism correction. We compared ML classifiers based on (1) 61 a priori sMRI regional estimates and (2) SR ratings. The sMRI model achieved 79.58% classification accuracy. The SR (accuracy = 95.95%) outperformed both sMRI models. Estimates from multiple brain areas related to cognition, emotion, and memory contributed strongly to group clas- sification. This is the first ML-based group classification of CFS. Our findings suggest that sMRI abnormalities are useful for discriminating CFS patients from HC, but SR ratings remain most effective
Experimental Brain Research – Springer Journals
Published: May 30, 2018
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