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Clinical Impact of Updated Diagnostic and Research Criteria for Alzheimer’s Disease

J Clin Psychiatry 2011;72(12):e37
10.4088/JCP.10087tx2c

Almost 30 years ago, the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke and the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association (more commonly known as the Alzheimer’s Association) developed the original clinical diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Recently, the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association released updated research and diagnostic criteria for AD. The new criteria establish that AD exists on a continuum and is comprised of not only dementia but also a preclinical phase and a phase of mild cognitive impairment due to AD. The new criteria also describe advancements in biomarker evidence, which is still being researched and is not yet ready for clinical settings. Additionally, the American Psychiatric Association is currently revising the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which will include updated diagnostic criteria for AD and other neurocognitive disorders.

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