Bayesian mixtures for modelling complex medical data : a case study in Parkinson’s disease

White, Nicole (2011) Bayesian mixtures for modelling complex medical data : a case study in Parkinson’s disease. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Mixture models are a flexible tool for unsupervised clustering that have found popularity in a vast array of research areas. In studies of medicine, the use of mixtures holds the potential to greatly enhance our understanding of patient responses through the identification of clinically meaningful clusters that, given the complexity of many data sources, may otherwise by intangible. Furthermore, when developed in the Bayesian framework, mixture models provide a natural means for capturing and propagating uncertainty in different aspects of a clustering solution, arguably resulting in richer analyses of the population under study. This thesis aims to investigate the use of Bayesian mixture models in analysing varied and detailed sources of patient information collected in the study of complex disease. The first aim of this thesis is to showcase the flexibility of mixture models in modelling markedly different types of data. In particular, we examine three common variants on the mixture model, namely, finite mixtures, Dirichlet Process mixtures and hidden Markov models. Beyond the development and application of these models to different sources of data, this thesis also focuses on modelling different aspects relating to uncertainty in clustering. Examples of clustering uncertainty considered are uncertainty in a patient’s true cluster membership and accounting for uncertainty in the true number of clusters present. Finally, this thesis aims to address and propose solutions to the task of comparing clustering solutions, whether this be comparing patients or observations assigned to different subgroups or comparing clustering solutions over multiple datasets. To address these aims, we consider a case study in Parkinson’s disease (PD), a complex and commonly diagnosed neurodegenerative disorder. In particular, two commonly collected sources of patient information are considered. The first source of data are on symptoms associated with PD, recorded using the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and constitutes the first half of this thesis. The second half of this thesis is dedicated to the analysis of microelectrode recordings collected during Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), a popular palliative treatment for advanced PD. Analysis of this second source of data centers on the problems of unsupervised detection and sorting of action potentials or "spikes" in recordings of multiple cell activity, providing valuable information on real time neural activity in the brain.

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ID Code: 48202
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Mengersen, Kerrie, Johnson, Helen, & Silburn, Peter
Keywords: Bayesian statistics, clustering, deep brain stimulation, Dirichlet process mixture model, finite mixture model, Gibbs sampling, hidden Markov model, Markov chain Monte Carlo, microelectrode recording, Parkinson’s disease, spike sorting, UPDRS
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Schools > Mathematical Sciences
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 23 Jan 2012 06:06
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2012 06:06

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