New Diagnostic Criteria and Guidelines for Alzheimer's Disease

Expert international workgroups convened by the Alzheimer's Association and the National Institute on Aging (NIA), an agency of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), have jointly issued four new criteria and guidelines to diagnose Alzheimer's disease. These new criteria update, refine and broaden previous widely used guidelines jointly issued by the Alzheimer's Association and the NIH over the past 30 years.

By incorporating new scientific insights and technological advances, the new guidelines aim to improve current diagnosis, strengthen autopsy reporting of Alzheimer's brain changes, and establish a research agenda for future progress in earlier detection and even greater diagnostic accuracy.

Three of the new guidelines focus on three stages of Alzheimer's disease: (1) dementia due to Alzheimer's, (2) mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to Alzheimer's, and (3) preclinical (presymptomatic) Alzheimer's. The fourth guideline updates criteria for documenting and reporting Alzheimer's-related changes observed during an autopsy.