Scientific article

Preclinical Alzheimer's disease: Definition, natural history, and diagnostic criteria

Published inAlzheimer's & dementia, vol. 12, no. 3, p. 292-323
Publication date2016

During the past decade, a conceptual shift occurred in the field of Alzheimer's disease (AD) considering the disease as a continuum. Thanks to evolving biomarker research and substantial discoveries, it is now possible to identify the disease even at the preclinical stage before the occurrence of the first clinical symptoms. This preclinical stage of AD has become a major research focus as the field postulates that early intervention may offer the best chance of therapeutic success. To date, very little evidence is established on this "silent" stage of the disease. A clarification is needed about the definitions and lexicon, the limits, the natural history, the markers of progression, and the ethical consequence of detecting the disease at this asymptomatic stage. This article is aimed at addressing all the different issues by providing for each of them an updated review of the literature and evidence, with practical recommendations.

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid PET
  • Asymptomatic
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood biomarkers
  • CSF biomarkers
  • Diagnostic criteria
  • Genetics
  • MRI
  • Pathophysiology
  • Preclinical
  • Tau PET
Citation (ISO format)
DUBOIS, Bruno et al. Preclinical Alzheimer’s disease: Definition, natural history, and diagnostic criteria. In: Alzheimer’s & dementia, 2016, vol. 12, n° 3, p. 292–323. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2016.02.002
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1552-5260

Technical informations

Creation05/04/2016 4:06:00 PM
First validation05/04/2016 4:06:00 PM
Update time03/15/2023 12:19:40 AM
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