The new Alzheimer's criteria in a naturalistic series of patients with mild cognitive impairment

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To test the validity of the new diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's disease (AD) in a naturalistic series of patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Ninety consecutive MCI patients were enrolled in a longitudinal study on the natural history of cognitive impairment. Medial temporal (MT) atrophy on MRI was defined as hippocampal volume below the fifth percentile of the distribution in healthy elders, abnormal CSF was based on Sjogren's cutoffs for Abeta42 and tau, and temporoparietal hypometabolism on 18F-FDG PET based on Herholz's t sum score. Patients were followed clinically to detect conversion to AD (MCI-AD), non-AD dementia (MCI-nAD), or no conversion (MCI-NC). The 24 MCI-AD and 15 MCI-nAD patients had sociodemographic, clinical, and neuropsychological baseline features similar to the 51 MCI-NC patients. All MCI patients with MT atrophy converted to AD, as did all those with abnormal CSF, but only 48 and 35% of those without MT atrophy or abnormal CSF converted (p on logrank test = 0.0007 and 0.001). Prediction of AD conversion was enhanced when positivity to either MT atrophy or abnormal CSF was considered, with only 15% of those MCI patients negative on both converting to AD (p < 0.0005). Markers were not predictive of non-AD dementia conversion. The accuracy of either MT atrophy or abnormal CSF in discriminating MCI-AD from MCI-NC was good (AUC 0.82, 95% CI 0.70–0.95). MT atrophy and abnormal CSF are the single most robust predictors of conversion to AD in MCI patients, and their combination enhances prediction. AD markers are not predictive of conversion to non-AD dementia.

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