It has been proposed that tau aggregation confined to entorhinal cortex and hippocampus, with no or only minimal Aβ deposition, should be considered as a 'primary age-related tauopathy' (PART) that is not integral to the continuum of sporadic Alzheimer disease (AD). Here, we examine the evidence that PART has a pathogenic mechanism and a prognosis which differ from those of AD. We contend that no specific property of the entorhinal-hippocampal tau pathology makes it possible to predict either a limited progression or the development of AD, and that biochemical differences await an evidence base. On the other hand, entorhinal-hippocampal tau pathology is an invariant feature of AD and is always associated with its development. Rather than creating a separate disease entity, we recommend the continued use of an analytical approach based on NFT stages and Aβ phases with no inference about hypothetical disease processes.