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Neurologia. 2013 Oct;28(8):477-87. doi: 10.1016/j.nrl.2012.10.003.

[Clinical stages of patients with Alzheimer disease treated in specialist clinics in Spain. The EACE study].

[Article in Spanish]

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Unidad de Neurología de la Conducta y Demencias, Hospital General y Universitario de Elche, Elche, Alicante, España.



The diagnostic paradigm of Alzheimer disease (AD) is changing; there is a trend toward diagnosing the disease in its early stages, even before the complete syndrome of dementia is apparent. The clinical stage at which AD is usually diagnosed in our area is unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to describe the clinical stages of AD patients at time of diagnosis.


Multicentre, observational and cross-sectional study. Patients with probable AD according to NINCDS-ARDRA criteria, attended in specialist clinics in Spain, were included in the study. We recorded the symptom onset to evaluation and symptom onset to diagnosis intervals and clinical status of AD (based on MMSE, NPI questionnaire, and CDR scale).


Participants in this study included 437 specialists representing all of Spain's autonomous communities and a total of 1,707 patients, of whom 1,694 were included in the analysis. Mean MMSE score was 17.6±4.8 (95% CI:17.4-17.9). Moderate cognitive impairment (MMSE between 10 and 20) was detected in 64% of the patients, and severe cognitive impairment (MMSE<10) in 6%. The mean interval between symptom onset and the initial primary care visit was 10.9±17.2 months (95% CI:9.9-11.8), and the interval between symptom onset and diagnosis with AD was 28.4±21.3 months.


Results from the EACE show that most AD patients in our area have reached a moderate clinical stage by the time they are evaluated in a specialist clinic.


Alzheimer disease; Atención especializada; Clinical stage; Cognitive status; Demencia; Dementia; Diagnosis; Diagnóstico; Enfermedad de Alzheimer; Estadio evolutivo; Estado cognitivo; Specialist care

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