Rapidly progressive Alzheimer's disease: a multicenter update

J Alzheimers Dis. 2012;30(4):751-6. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2012-120007.


The objective was to characterize a rapidly progressive subtype of Alzheimer's disease (rpAD). Multicenter (France, Germany, Japan, Spain) retrospective analyses of neuropathologically confirmed rpAD cases initially classified as prion disease due to their clinical phenotype were performed. Genetic properties, cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers, neuropathology, and clinical features were examined. Eighty-nine patients were included (median survival 10 months). APOE and PRNP codon 129 genotype distribution paralleled a healthy control group. APOE ε4 homozygosity was absent. Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers were abnormal, but within a range as expected for classic AD, except for proteins 14-3-3, which were detectable in 42%. Thus, evidence of the existence of rpAD is accumulating. The APOE profile is intriguing, suggesting that this very rapid disease form might represent a distinct subtype of Alzheimer's disease.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Biomarkers / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Disease Progression*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • tau Proteins / cerebrospinal fluid


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Biomarkers
  • tau Proteins