Biophysical models can provide better biomarkers for depression than raw brain data
New paper on Depression Biomarkers. Click here for full text. Abstract below.
A major difficulty with treating psychiatric disorders is their heterogeneity: different neural causes can lead to the same phenotype. To address this, we propose describing the underlying pathophysiology in terms of interpretable, biophysical parameters of a neural model derived from the electroencephalogram. We analyzed data from a small patient cohort of patients with depression and controls. Using DCM, we constructed biophysical models that describe neural dynamics in a cortical network activated during a task that is used to assess depression state. We show that biophysical model parameters are biomarkers, that is, variables that allow subtyping of depression at a biological level. They yield a low dimensional, interpretable feature space that allowed description of differences between individual patients with depressive symptoms. They could capture internal heterogeneity/variance of depression state and achieve significantly better classification than commonly used EEG features. Our work is a proof of concept that a combination of biophysical models and machine learning may outperform earlier approaches based on classical statistics and raw brain data.