There is growing recognition that the pathophysiological process of Alzheimer disease (AD) begins many years prior to clinically obvious symptoms, and the concept of a presymptomatic or preclinical stage of AD is becoming more widely accepted. Advances in biomarker studies have enabled detection of AD pathology in vivo in clinically normal older individuals. The predictive value of these biomarkers at the individual patient level, however, remains to be elucidated. The ultimate goal of identifying individuals in the preclinical stages of AD is to facilitate early intervention to delay and perhaps even prevent emergence of the clinical syndrome. A number of challenges remain to be overcome before this concept can be validated and translated into clinical practice.