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Revised criteria for diagnosis and staging of Alzheimer's disease: Alzheimer's Association Workgroup

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Alzheimers Dement. 2024 Jun 27. doi: 10.1002/alz.13859. Online ahead of print.


The National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association convened three separate work groups in 2011 and single work groups in 2012 and 2018 to create recommendations for the diagnosis and characterization of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The present document updates the 2018 research framework in response to several recent developments. Defining diseases biologically, rather than based on syndromic presentation, has long been standard in many areas of medicine (e.g., oncology), and is becoming a unifying concept common to all neurodegenerative diseases, not just AD. The present document is consistent with this principle. Our intent is to present objective criteria for diagnosis and staging AD, incorporating recent advances in biomarkers, to serve as a bridge between research and clinical care. These criteria are not intended to provide step-by-step clinical practice guidelines for clinical workflow or specific treatment protocols, but rather serve as general principles to inform diagnosis and staging of AD that reflect current science. HIGHLIGHTS: We define Alzheimer’s disease (AD) to be a biological process that begins with the appearance of AD neuropathologic change (ADNPC) while people are asymptomatic. Progression of the neuropathologic burden leads to the later appearance and progression of clinical symptoms. Early-changing Core 1 biomarkers (amyloid positron emission tomography [PET], approved cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers, and accurate plasma biomarkers [especially phosphorylated tau 217]) map onto either the amyloid beta or AD tauopathy pathway; however, these reflect the presence of ADNPC more generally (i.e., both neuritic plaques and tangles). An abnormal Core 1 biomarker result is sufficient to establish a diagnosis of AD and to inform clinical decision making throughout the disease continuum. Later-changing Core 2 biomarkers (biofluid and tau PET) can provide prognostic information, and when abnormal, will increase confidence that AD is contributing to symptoms. An integrated biological and clinical staging scheme is described that accommodates the fact that common copathologies, cognitive reserve, and resistance may modify relationships between clinical and biological AD stages.

PMID:38934362 | DOI:10.1002/alz.13859

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