Human brain mapping 2016 8 4() doi 10.1002/hbm.23326
HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorder (HAND) is the most common constellation of cognitive dysfunctions in chronic HIV infected patients age 60 or older in the U.S. Only few published methods assist in distinguishing HAND from other forms of age-associated cognitive decline, such as Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). In this report, a data-driven, nonparameteric model to identify morphometric patterns separating HAND from MCI due to non-HIV conditions in this older age group was proposed. This model enhanced the potential for group separation by combining a smaller, longitudinal data set containing HAND samples with a larger, public data set including MCI cases. Using cross-validation, a linear model on healthy controls to harmonize the volumetric scores extracted from MRIs for demographic and acquisition differences between the two independent, disease-specific data sets was trained. Next, patterns distinguishing HAND from MCI via a group sparsity constrained logistic classifier were identified. Unlike existing approaches, our classifier directly solved the underlying minimization problem by decoupling the minimization of the logistic regression function from enforcing the group sparsity constraint. The extracted patterns consisted of eight regions that distinguished HAND from MCI on a significant level while being indifferent to differences in demographics and acquisition between the two sets. Individually selecting regions through conventional morphometric group analysis resulted in a larger number of regions that were less accurate. In conclusion, simultaneously analyzing all brain regions and time points for disease specific patterns contributed to distinguishing with high accuracy HAND-related impairment from cognitive impairment found in the HIV uninfected, MCI cohort. Hum Brain Mapp, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.