Translator Disclaimer
September 2020 Log-contrast regression with functional compositional predictors: Linking preterm infants’ gut microbiome trajectories to neurobehavioral outcome
Zhe Sun, Wanli Xu, Xiaomei Cong, Gen Li, Kun Chen
Ann. Appl. Stat. 14(3): 1535-1556 (September 2020). DOI: 10.1214/20-AOAS1357


The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) experience is known to be one of the most crucial factors that drive preterm infants’ neurodevelopmental and health outcome. It is hypothesized that stressful early life experience of very preterm neonate is imprinting gut microbiome by the regulation of the so-called brain-gut axis, and, consequently, certain microbiome markers are predictive of later infant neurodevelopment. To investigate, a preterm infant study was conducted; infant fecal samples were collected during the infants’ first month of postnatal age, resulting in functional compositional microbiome data, and neurobehavioral outcomes were measured when infants reached 36–38 weeks of postmenstrual age. To identify potential microbiome markers and estimate how the trajectories of gut microbiome compositions during early postnatal stage impact later neurobehavioral outcomes of the preterm infants, we innovate a sparse log-contrast regression with functional compositional predictors. The functional simplex structure is strictly preserved, and the functional compositional predictors are allowed to have sparse, smoothly varying and accumulating effects on the outcome through time. Through a pragmatic basis expansion step, the problem boils down to a linearly constrained sparse group regression, for which we develop an efficient algorithm and obtain theoretical performance guarantees. Our approach yields insightful results in the preterm infant study. The identified microbiome markers and the estimated time dynamics of their impact on the neurobehavioral outcome shed lights on the linkage between stress accumulation in early postnatal stage and neurodevelpomental process of infants.


Download Citation

Zhe Sun. Wanli Xu. Xiaomei Cong. Gen Li. Kun Chen. "Log-contrast regression with functional compositional predictors: Linking preterm infants’ gut microbiome trajectories to neurobehavioral outcome." Ann. Appl. Stat. 14 (3) 1535 - 1556, September 2020.


Received: 1 August 2019; Revised: 1 May 2020; Published: September 2020
First available in Project Euclid: 18 September 2020

MathSciNet: MR4152145
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/20-AOAS1357

Keywords: constrained optimization , group selection , longitudinal data , simplex

Rights: Copyright © 2020 Institute of Mathematical Statistics


This article is only available to subscribers.
It is not available for individual sale.

Vol.14 • No. 3 • September 2020
Back to Top