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Med Clin North Am. 2019 Mar;103(2):263-293. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2018.10.009.

The Alzheimer's Disease Clinical Spectrum: Diagnosis and Management.

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Banner Sun Health Research Institute, Banner Health, 10515 W Santa Fe Drive, Sun City, AZ 85351, USA; Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 60 Fenwood Road, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Harvard Medical School, 25 Shattuck Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Electronic address:


Alzheimer's disease (AD) care requires timely diagnosis and multidisciplinary management. Evaluation involves structured patient and caregiver history and symptom-function reviews, examination, and testing (laboratory and neuroimaging) to delineate impairment level, determine the cognitive-behavioral syndrome, and diagnose cause. Clinical biomarkers are available to aid high confidence in etiologic diagnosis. Management uses psychoeducation, shared goal setting, and patient-caregiver dyad decision making. When combined, pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic therapies mitigate symptoms and reduce clinical progression and care burden. AD biopathologic processes develop over decades before symptoms manifest; this period is increasingly targeted in research as an opportunity to best delay or prevent AD dementia.


Alzheimer’s disease; Cognitive; Donepezil; Memantine; Mild cognitive impairment; Neuroimaging; Review; Treatment

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