Alzheimer's Disease Diagnosis Relies on a Twofold Clinical-Biological Algorithm: Three Memory Clinic Case Reports

J Alzheimers Dis. 2017;60(2):577-583. doi: 10.3233/JAD-170574.


The International Working Group recently provided revised criteria of Alzheimer's disease (AD) proposing that the diagnosis of typical amnesic AD should be established by a clinical-biological signature, defined by the phenotype of an "amnesic syndrome of the hippocampal type" (ASHT) combined with positive in vivo evidence of AD pathophysiology in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or on amyloid PET imaging. The application and clinical value of this refined diagnostic algorithm, initially intended for research purposes, is explored in three memory clinic cases presenting with different cognitive profiles including an ASHT, hippocampal atrophy, and CSF AD-biomarker data. The case reports highlight that the isolated occurrence of one of the two proposed AD criteria, ASHT or positive pathophysiological markers, does not provide a reliable diagnosis of typical AD. It is proposed that the twofold diagnostic IWG algorithm can be applied and operationalized in memory clinic settings to improve the diagnostic accuracy of typical amnesic AD in clinical practice.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; amnesic syndrome; biomarkers; cerebrospinal fluid; diagnosis; magnetic resonance imaging.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Algorithms*
  • Alzheimer Disease / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Biomarkers / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18 / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon
  • Tropanes / metabolism
  • tau Proteins


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Biomarkers
  • Tropanes
  • tau Proteins
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • 2-carbomethoxy-8-(3-fluoropropyl)-3-(4-iodophenyl)tropane