Which are the current guidelines for Alzheimer 's disease diagnosis?

New serum tests are used in clinical practice


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  • Elisa Canu · Ospedale di San Raffaele Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico
    McKhann et al., Alzheimers Dement. 2011 May ; 7(3): 263–269.
  • Amelia Marutle · Karolinska Institutet
  • Athanasios Anastasiou · University of Plymouth
    I have found the following publications to be comprehensive enough on the subject:

    McKhann, Guy, Drachman, David, Folstein, Marshall, Katzman, Robert, et al. (1984) ‘Clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease: Report of the NINCDS-ADRDA Work Group* under the auspices of Department of Health and Human Services Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease’, Neurology, 34(7), p. 939.

    Murayama, Shigeo and Saito, Yuko (2004) ‘Neuropathological diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer’s disease’, Neuropathology, 24(3), pp. 254–260.

    Knopman, D. S., DeKosky, S. T., Cummings, J. L., Chui, H., et al. (2001) ‘Practice parameter: Diagnosis of dementia (an evidence-based review): Report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology’, Neurology, 56(9), pp. 1143–1153.

    (More information can also be found at -- but that would be more focused on the UK)
  • Michael Jones · Simon Fraser University
    I would also add that there are new imaging agents such as the 18F-labeled florbetapir that was just recently FDA approved back in May 2012. This compound bind to amyloid-beta plaques and is used as a PET imaging agent. Currently, there isn't anything that exactly diagnoses someone with having AD, other than a post-mortem autopsy. There are many different imaging agents that use PET and SPECT isotopes. I would also encourage you to look for more recent publications such as 2010 and more recent. This area of research has changed very quickly over the years.

  • Jon Toledo · University of Pennsylvania
    Also would like to add the neuropathological criteria, which are the gold standard:
    Montine TJ, Phelps CH, Beach TG, Bigio EH, Cairns NJ, Dickson DW, et al. National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer's Association guidelines for the neuropathologic assessment of Alzheimer's disease: a practical approach. Acta neuropathologica. 2012 Jan;123(1):1-11.

    As we know that clinical criteria, especially in the case of FTD can lead to misleading results (Toledo JB, Brettschneider J, Grossman M, Arnold SE, Hu WT, Xie SX, et al. CSF biomarkers cutoffs: the importance of coincident neuropathological diseases. Acta neuropathologica. 2012 Apr 22.)

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