The effect of diagnostic criteria on outcome measures in preclinical and prodromal Alzheimer's disease: Implications for trial design

Alzheimers Dement (N Y). 2017 Sep 21;3(4):513-523. doi: 10.1016/j.trci.2017.08.005. eCollection 2017 Nov.


Introduction: We investigated the influence of different inclusion criteria for preclinical and prodromal Alzheimer's disease (AD) on changes in biomarkers and cognitive markers and on trial sample size estimates.

Methods: We selected 522 cognitively normal subjects and 872 subjects with mild cognitive impairment from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative study. Compared inclusion criteria were (1) preclinical or prodromal AD (amyloid marker abnormal); (2) preclinical or prodromal AD stage-1 (amyloid marker abnormal, injury marker normal); and (3) preclinical or prodromal AD stage-2 (amyloid and injury markers abnormal). Outcome measures were amyloid, neuronal injury, and cognitive markers.

Results: In both subjects with preclinical and prodromal AD stage-2, inclusion criteria resulted in the largest observed decline in brain volumetric measures on magnetic resonance imaging and cognitive markers.

Discussion: Inclusion criteria influence the observed rate of worsening in outcome measures. This has implications for trial design.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Biomarkers; Clinical trial; Cognitive markers; Longitudinal; Preclinical; Prodromal; Sample size estimates.