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In IEEE transactions on neural systems and rehabilitation engineering : a publication of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society

Hereditary Transthyretin Amyloidosis (vATTR-V30M) is a rare and highly incapacitating sensorimotor neuropathy caused by an inherited mutation (Val30Met), which typically affects gait, among other symptoms. In this context, we investigated the possibility of using machine learning (ML) techniques to build a model(s) that can be used to support the detection of the Val30Met mutation (possibility of developing the disease), as well as symptom onset detection for the disease, given the gait characteristics of a person. These characteristics correspond to 24 gait parameters computed from 3-D body data, provided by a Kinect v2 camera, acquired from a person while walking towards the camera. To build the model(s), different ML algorithms were explored: k-nearest neighbors, decision tree, random forest, support vector machines (SVM), and multilayer perceptron. For a dataset corresponding to 66 subjects (25 healthy controls, 14 asymptomatic mutation carriers, and 27 patients) and several gait cycles per subject, we were able to obtain a model that distinguishes between controls and vATTR-V30M mutation carriers (with or without symptoms) with a mean accuracy of 92% (SVM). We also obtained a model that distinguishes between asymptomatic and symptomatic carriers with a mean accuracy of 98% (SVM). These results are very relevant, since this is the first study that proposes a ML approach to support vATTR-V30M patient assessment based on gait, being a promising foundation for the development of a computer-aided diagnosis tool to help clinicians in the identification and follow-up of this disease. Furthermore, the proposed method may also be used for other neuropathies.

Vilas-Boas Maria do Carmo, Rocha Ana Patricia, Cardoso Marcio Neves, Fernandes Jose Maria, Coelho Teresa, Cunha Joao Paulo Silva