Alzheimer’s Diagnostic Criteria Validation: Exploration of Next Steps
Presentation at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease 2011
Organized by the Institute of Medicine Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders this session brought together key stakeholders and audience members to identify a set of core principles that could be used to validate the newly proposed diagnostic criteria guidelines for Alzheimer’s disease. Recently, two groups, one sponsored by the National Institute of Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association and the other representing an International Working Group proposed new diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer’s disease. While it has been acknowledged that validation is a critical next step, the mechanisms for validation remain unclear. The session began with a review of the similarities and differences between the proposed guidelines and their role in clinical settings. In addition, the session explored lessons learned during the development and validation of biomarkers for another disorder (i.e., cardiovascular disease) that may be relevant to AD. For example, identification of strategies used by this field in the adoption of new technology, incorporation of biomarker testing in clinical practice, and the success of decreasing disease incidence by targeting cholesterol, provided valuable lessons for the Alzheimer’s community. Together, this information provided the backdrop for development of principle strategies for validation. A panel discussion with leading experts will engage the audience in examining the types of studies needed, their design and execution, and how the criteria will unfold in broader populations outside the clinical research environment. In particular, validation and standardization of biomarker use in predicting and diagnosing the symptomatic pre-dementia and dementia phase of Alzheimer’s disease was included. Overall, the session provided a unique opportunity for discussion around this important topic.