Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2013 Dec;28(8):750-8. doi: 10.1177/1533317513504611.

Stability of clinical etiologic diagnosis in dementia and mild cognitive impairment: results from a multicenter longitudinal database.

Author information

  • 11Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.


Many new therapies for dementia target a specific pathologic process and must be applied early. Selection of specific therapy is based on the clinical etiologic diagnosis. We sought to determine the stability of the clinical etiologic diagnosis over time and to identify factors associated with instability. We identified 4141 patients with dementia or mild cognitive impairment who made at least 2 visits approximately a year apart to a dementia research center, receiving a clinical etiologic diagnosis on each visit. We assessed concordance of etiologic diagnoses across visits, κ-statistics, and transition probabilities among diagnoses. The primary clinical etiologic diagnosis remained stable for 91% of patients but with a net shift toward dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer's disease. Lower diagnostic stability was significantly associated with older age, nonwhite race, milder disease at presentation, more underlying conditions contributing to cognitive decline, lack of a consistent spouse/partner informant, and being evaluated by different clinicians on different visits. Multistate Markov modeling generally confirmed these associations. Clinical etiologic diagnoses were generally stable. However, several readily ascertained characteristics were associated with higher instability. These associations may be useful to clinicians for anticipating when an etiologic diagnosis may be more prone to future change.


dementia diagnosis; dementia etiology; diagnosis stability

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center