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Towards a machine-learning assisted diagnosis of psychiatric disorders and their operationalization in preclinical research: evidence from studies on addiction-like behaviour in individual rats.

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Jamot, Benjamin Boury 
Deroche-Gamonet, Veronique 


Over the last few decades there is a progressive transition from a categorical to a dimensional approach to psychiatric disorders. Especially in case of substance use disorders, interest in the individual vulnerability to transition from controlled to compulsive drug taking warrants the development of novel dimension-based objective stratification tools. Here we drew on a multidimensional preclinical model of addiction, namely the 3-criteria model, previously developed to identify neurobehavioural basis of the individual vulnerability to switch from control to compulsive drug taking, to test a machine-learning assisted classifier objectively to identify individual subjects as vulnerable/resistant to addiction. Datasets from our previous studies on addiction-like behaviour for cocaine or alcohol were fed to a variety of machine-learning algorithms to develop a classifier that identifies resilient and vulnerable rats with high precision and reproducibility irrespective of the cohort to which they belong. A classifier based on K-median or K-mean-clustering (for cocaine or alcohol, respectively) followed by Artificial Neural Networks emerged as a highly reliable and accurate tool to predict if a single rat is vulnerable/resilient to addiction. Thus, each rat previously characterized as displaying 0-criterion (i.e., resilient) or 3-criteria (i.e., vulnerable) in individual cohorts was correctly labelled by this classifier. The present machine-learning-based classifier objectively labels single individuals as resilient or vulnerable to develop addiction-like behaviour in multisymptomatic preclinical model addiction-like behaviour in rats. This novel dimension-based classifier increases the heuristic value of these preclinical models while providing proof of principle to deploy similar tools for the future of diagnosis of psychiatric disorders.



Journal Title

Eur J Neurosci

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Volume Title


Medical Research Council (MR/N02530X/1)
Medical Research Council