Discriminative analysis of schizophrenia patients using graph convolutional networks: A combined multimodal MRI and connectomics analysis

Xiaoyi Chen, Pengfei Ke, Yuanyuan Huang, Jing Zhou, Hehua Li, Runlin Peng, Jiayuan Huang, Li Qing Liang, Guolin Ma, Xiaobo Li, Yuping Ning, Fengchun Wu, Kai Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Recent studies in human brain connectomics with multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data have widely reported abnormalities in brain structure, function and connectivity associated with schizophrenia (SZ). However, most previous discriminative studies of SZ patients were based on MRI features of brain regions, ignoring the complex relationships within brain networks. Methods: We applied a graph convolutional network (GCN) to discriminating SZ patients using the features of brain region and connectivity derived from a combined multimodal MRI and connectomics analysis. Structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI) and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) data were acquired from 140 SZ patients and 205 normal controls. Eighteen types of brain graphs were constructed for each subject using 3 types of node features, 3 types of edge features, and 2 brain atlases. We investigated the performance of 18 brain graphs and used the TopK pooling layers to highlight salient brain regions (nodes in the graph). Results: The GCN model, which used functional connectivity as edge features and multimodal features (sMRI + fMRI) of brain regions as node features, obtained the highest average accuracy of 95.8%, and outperformed other existing classification studies in SZ patients. In the explainability analysis, we reported that the top 10 salient brain regions, predominantly distributed in the prefrontal and occipital cortices, were mainly involved in the systems of emotion and visual processing. Discussion: Our findings demonstrated that GCN with a combined multimodal MRI and connectomics analysis can effectively improve the classification of SZ at an individual level, indicating a promising direction for the diagnosis of SZ patients. The code is available at https://github.com/CXY-scut/GCN-SZ.git.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1140801
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


  • discriminative analysis
  • graph convolutional network
  • human brain connectomics
  • multimodal MRI
  • schizophrenia


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