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Ann Neurol. 2012 Jun;71(6):765-75. doi: 10.1002/ana.22628. Epub 2012 Apr 9.

An operational approach to National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer's Association criteria for preclinical Alzheimer disease.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA. jack.clifford@mayo.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

A workgroup commissioned by the Alzheimer's Association (AA) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) recently published research criteria for preclinical Alzheimer disease (AD). We performed a preliminary assessment of these guidelines.

METHODS:

We employed Pittsburgh compound B positron emission tomography (PET) imaging as our biomarker of cerebral amyloidosis, and (18) fluorodeoxyglucose PET imaging and hippocampal volume as biomarkers of neurodegeneration. A group of 42 clinically diagnosed AD subjects was used to create imaging biomarker cutpoints. A group of 450 cognitively normal (CN) subjects from a population-based sample was used to develop cognitive cutpoints and to assess population frequencies of the different preclinical AD stages using different cutpoint criteria.

RESULTS:

The new criteria subdivide the preclinical phase of AD into stages 1 to 3. To classify our CN subjects, 2 additional categories were needed. Stage 0 denotes subjects with normal AD biomarkers and no evidence of subtle cognitive impairment. Suspected non-AD pathophysiology (SNAP) denotes subjects with normal amyloid PET imaging, but abnormal neurodegeneration biomarker studies. At fixed cutpoints corresponding to 90% sensitivity for diagnosing AD and the 10th percentile of CN cognitive scores, 43% of our sample was classified as stage 0, 16% stage 1, 12 % stage 2, 3% stage 3, and 23% SNAP.

INTERPRETATION:

This cross-sectional evaluation of the NIA-AA criteria for preclinical AD indicates that the 1-3 staging criteria coupled with stage 0 and SNAP categories classify 97% of CN subjects from a population-based sample, leaving only 3% unclassified. Future longitudinal validation of the criteria will be important.

PMID:
22488240
PMCID:
PMC3586223
DOI:
10.1002/ana.22628
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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