Publication Date



BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making


Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease developed in the human brain and spinal cord, which can cause permanent damage or deterioration of the nerves. The severity of MS disease is monitored by the Expanded Disability Status Scale, composed of several functional sub-scores. Early and accurate classification of MS disease severity is critical for slowing down or preventing disease progression via applying early therapeutic intervention strategies. Recent advances in deep learning and the wide use of Electronic Health Records (EHR) create opportunities to apply data-driven and predictive modeling tools for this goal. Previous studies focusing on using single-modal machine learning and deep learning algorithms were limited in terms of prediction accuracy due to data insufficiency or model simplicity. In this paper, we proposed the idea of using patients' multimodal longitudinal and longitudinal EHR data to predict multiple sclerosis disease severity in the future. Our contribution has two main facets. First, we describe a pioneering effort to integrate structured EHR data, neuroimaging data and clinical notes to build a multi-modal deep learning framework to predict patient's MS severity. The proposed pipeline demonstrates up to 19% increase in terms of the area under the Area Under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve (AUROC) compared to models using single-modal data. Second, the study also provides valuable insights regarding the amount useful signal embedded in each data modality with respect to MS disease prediction, which may improve data collection processes.


Multimodal deep learning, Multiple sclerosis, Expanded disability status scale



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