Rate of conversion from prodromal Alzheimer's disease to Alzheimer's dementia: a systematic review of the literature

Dement Geriatr Cogn Dis Extra. 2013 Sep 28;3(1):320-32. doi: 10.1159/000354370. eCollection 2013.


Background: The purpose of this study was to summarize published estimates for conversion from mild cognitive impairment or amnestic mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's dementia. We carried out a systematic review of English language publications to identify cohort studies published since January 2006 that reported the risk or rate of conversion.

Summary: Thirty-two cohort studies were identified, of which 14 reported annualized conversion rates (ACRs). Conversions over 1 year ranged from 10.2 to 33.6% (5 studies, median: 19.0%), and over 2 years from 9.8 to 36.3% (7 studies, median: 18.6%). ACRs ranged from 7.5 to 16.5% (7 studies, median: 11.0%) per person-year for studies recruiting from clinics, and from 5.4 to 11.5% (7 studies, median: 7.1%) for community samples.

Key message: Extensive variation was observed in conversion rates due to the population sampled, diagnostic criteria, and duration, and because many studies did not account for loss to follow-up.

Keywords: Alzheimer's dementia; Alzheimer's disease; Cognitive function; Meta-analysis; Mild cognitive impairment.