Handb Clin Neurol. 2016:138:123-51. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-802973-2.00008-2.


This chapter will focus on the descriptive, analytic, and intervention-oriented epidemiology of dementia and its most frequent etiologic type due to Alzheimer's disease. The chapter opens with a brief presentation of the concept of dementia, followed by the presentation of dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT), including natural history, clinical manifestation, neuropathology, medical prognosis, and management. Further, the chapter presents the prevalence and incidence of dementia, with special consideration of secular trends in prevalence and incidence of DAT, and prognosis of the socioeconomic impact of dementia. Thereafter the main risk factors for DAT are covered. The chapter also addresses the results of ongoing therapeutic and preventive intervention trials for DAT. Finally, the future challenges of the epidemiology of dementia with a focus on the impact of the new diagnostic criteria for neurocognitive disorders, as well as the development of biomarkers for DAT and other types of dementia, will be briefly discussed.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease (AD); biomarkers; cognitive impairment; dementia diagnosis; dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT); incidence; institutionalization; prevalence; prognosis; risk factors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology
  • Alzheimer Disease / therapy
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Dementia / diagnosis
  • Dementia / epidemiology*
  • Dementia / therapy
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors


  • Biomarkers