Comprehensible Machine-Learning-Based Models for the Pre-Emptive Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis Using Clinical Data: A Retrospective Study in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia

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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health


Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is characterized by chronic deterioration of the nervous system, mainly the brain and the spinal cord. An individual with MS develops the condition when the immune system begins attacking nerve fibers and the myelin sheathing that covers them, affecting the communication between the brain and the rest of the body and eventually causing permanent damage to the nerve. Patients with MS (pwMS) might experience different symptoms depending on which nerve was damaged and how much damage it has sustained. Currently, there is no cure for MS; however, there are clinical guidelines that help control the disease and its accompanying symptoms. Additionally, no specific laboratory biomarker can precisely identify the presence of MS, leaving specialists with a differential diagnosis that relies on ruling out other possible diseases with similar symptoms. Since the emergence of Machine Learning (ML) in the healthcare industry, it has become an effective tool for uncovering hidden patterns that aid in diagnosing several ailments. Several studies have been conducted to diagnose MS using ML and Deep Learning (DL) models trained using MRI images, achieving promising results. However, complex and expensive diagnostic tools are needed to collect and examine imaging data. Thus, the intention of this study is to implement a cost-effective, clinical data-driven model that is capable of diagnosing pwMS. The dataset was obtained from King Fahad Specialty Hospital (KFSH) in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Several ML algorithms were compared, namely Support Vector Machine (SVM), Decision Tree (DT), Logistic Regression (LR), Random Forest (RF), Extreme Gradient Boosting (XGBoost), Adaptive Boosting (AdaBoost), and Extra Trees (ET). The results indicated that the ET model outpaced the rest with an accuracy of 94.74%, recall of 97.26%, and precision of 94.67%.




ISSN: 1660-4601


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