Implementation of subjective cognitive decline criteria in research studies

Alzheimers Dement. 2017 Mar;13(3):296-311. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2016.09.012. Epub 2016 Nov 5.


Introduction: Subjective cognitive decline (SCD) manifesting before clinical impairment could serve as a target population for early intervention trials in Alzheimer's disease (AD). A working group, the Subjective Cognitive Decline Initiative (SCD-I), published SCD research criteria in the context of preclinical AD. To successfully apply them, a number of issues regarding assessment and implementation of SCD needed to be addressed.

Methods: Members of the SCD-I met to identify and agree on topics relevant to SCD criteria operationalization in research settings. Initial ideas and recommendations were discussed with other SCD-I working group members and modified accordingly.

Results: Topics included SCD inclusion and exclusion criteria, together with the informant's role in defining SCD presence and the impact of demographic factors.

Discussion: Recommendations for the operationalization of SCD in differing research settings, with the aim of harmonization of SCD measurement across studies are proposed, to enhance comparability and generalizability across studies.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Harmonization; Operationalization; Preclinical; SCD-I; Subjective cognitive decline (SDC).

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / standards*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / diagnosis*
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Severity of Illness Index