Seemingly unrelated regression empowers detection of network failure in dementia

Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Brain connectivity is progressively disrupted in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here, we used a seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) model to enhance the power to identify structural connections related to cognitive scores. We simultaneously solved regression equations with different predictors and used correlated errors among the equations to boost power for associations with brain networks. Connectivity maps were computed to represent the brain's fiber networks from diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging scans of 200 subjects from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. We first identified a pattern of brain connections related to clinical decline using standard regressions powered by this large sample size. As AD studies with a large number of diffusion tensor imaging scans are rare, it is important to detect effects in smaller samples using simultaneous regression modeling like SUR. Diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment or AD is well known to be associated with ApoE genotype and educational level. In a subsample with no apparent associations using the general linear model, power was boosted with our SUR model-combining genotype, educational level, and clinical diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S103-S112
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue numberS1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • APOE4
  • Brain connectivity
  • HARDI tractography
  • Multivariate analysis
  • Neuroimaging genetics
  • Seemingly unrelated regression (SUR)


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