Exploring Diseases and Syndromes in Neurology Case Reports from 1955 to 2017 with Text Mining

Amir Karami, Mehdi Ghasemi, Souvik Sen, Marcos Moraes, Vishal Shah

Background: A large number of neurology case reports have been published, but it is a challenging task for human medical experts to explore all of these publications. Text mining offers a computational approach to investigate neurology literature and capture meaningful patterns. The overarching goal of this study is to provide a new perspective on case reports of neurological disease and syndrome analysis over the last six decades using text mining. Methods: We extracted diseases and syndromes (DsSs) from more than 65,000 neurology case reports from 66 journals in PubMed over the last six decades from 1955 to 2017. Text mining was applied to reports on the detected DsSs to investigate high-frequency DsSs, categorize them, and explore the linear trends over the 63-year time frame. Results: The text mining methods explored high-frequency neurologic DsSs and their trends and the relationships between them from 1955 to 2017. We detected more than 18,000 unique DsSs and found 10 categories of neurologic DsSs. While the trend analysis showed the increasing trends in the case reports for top-10 high-frequency DsSs, the categories had mixed trends. Conclusion: Our study provided new insights into the application of text mining methods to investigate DsSs in a large number of medical case reports that occur over several decades. The proposed approach can be used to provide a macro level analysis of medical literature by discovering interesting patterns and tracking them over several years to help physicians explore these case reports more efficiently.

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