Detecting Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Using Multimodal Time-Frequency Analysis with Machine Learning Using the Electroretinogram from Two Flash Strengths

Sultan Mohammad Manjur, Luis Roberto Mercado Diaz, Irene O. Lee, David H. Skuse, Dorothy Thompson, Fernando Marmolejo-Ramos, Paul A. Constable, Hugo F. Posada-Quintero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are conditions that similarly alter cognitive functioning ability and challenge the social interaction, attention, and communication skills of affected individuals. Yet these are distinct neurological conditions that can exhibit diverse characteristics which require different management strategies. It is desirable to develop tools to assist with early distinction so that appropriate early interventions and support may be tailored to an individual’s specific requirements. The current diagnostic procedures for ASD and ADHD require a multidisciplinary approach and can be lengthy. This study investigated the potential of electroretinogram (ERG), an eye test measuring retinal responses to light, for rapid screening of ASD and ADHD. Methods: Previous studies identified differences in ERG amplitude between ASD and ADHD, but this study explored time-frequency analysis (TFS) to capture dynamic changes in the signal. ERG data from 286 subjects (146 control, 94 ASD, 46 ADHD) was analyzed using two TFS techniques. Results: Key features were selected, and machine learning models were trained to classify individuals based on their ERG response. The best model achieved 70% overall accuracy in distinguishing control, ASD, and ADHD groups. Conclusion: The ERG to the stronger flash strength provided better separation and the high frequency dynamics (80–300 Hz) were more informative features than lower frequency components. To further improve classification a greater number of different flash strengths may be required along with a discrimination comparison to participants who meet both ASD and ADHD classifications and carry both diagnoses.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Early online date23 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Feb 2024

Keywords

  • Electroretinogram
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Time-frequency analysis
  • Machine learning

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