Diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease: Towards accuracy and accessibility

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Yan Mu
Ke-Xin Chang
Yu-Feng Chen
Ke Yan
Chun-Xiang Wang
Qian Hua


Alzheimer’s Disease, the National Institute on Aging and Alzheimer’s Association, Diagnostic criteria, Detection methods, Biomarker


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a serious dementia afflicting aging population and is characterized by cognitive decline, amyloid-β plaques, and neurofibrillary tangles. AD substantially impairs the life quality of the victims and poses a heavy burden on the society at large. The number of people with dementia due to AD, prodromal AD, and preclinical AD is estimated to stand at roughly 3.2, 69, and 315 million worldwide, respectively. Current clinical diagnosis is based on clinical symptoms, and clinical research demonstrated that positron emission tomography (PET) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers had excellent diagnostic performance. However, the application of CSF biomarker tests and PET are restricted by the invasiveness and high cost. The presence of clinical symptoms means that AD pathology has been progressing for many years, and only a few drugs have been approved for the traetemnt of AD. Therefore, early diagnosis is extremely important for controlling the outcomes caused by AD. In this review, we provided an overview of developing clinical diagnostic criteria, diagnostic strategies under clinical research, developing blood based-biomarker assays, and promising nanotechnologically-based assays.


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