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INTRODUCTION: Brain structural imaging is paramount for the diagnosis of behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), but it has low sensitivity leading to erroneous or late diagnosis. METHODS: A total of 515 subjects from two different bvFTD databases (training and validation cohorts) were included to perform voxel-wise deformation-based morphometry analysis to identify regions with significant differences between bvFTD and controls. A random forest classifier was used to individually predict bvFTD from morphometric differences in isolation and together with bedside cognitive scores. RESULTS: Average ten-fold cross-validation accuracy was 89% (82% sensitivity, 93% specificity) using only MRI and 94% (89% sensitivity, 98% specificity) with the addition of semantic fluency. In a separate validation cohort of genetically confirmed bvFTD, accuracy was 88% (81% sensitivity, 92% specificity) with MRI and 91% (79% sensitivity, 96% specificity) with added cognitive scores. DISCUSSION: The random forest classifier developed can accurately predict bvFTD at the individual subject level.

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