Preclinical Alzheimer's Disease: Implications for Refinement of the Concept

J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;64(s1):S213-S227. doi: 10.3233/JAD-179943.


Increasing interest in clinical trials and clinical research settings to identify Alzheimer's disease (AD) in the earliest stages of the disease has led to the concept of preclinical AD. Individuals with preclinical AD have AD pathology without clinical symptoms yet. Accumulating evidence has shown that biomarkers can identify preclinical AD and that preclinical AD is associated with a poor clinical outcome. Little is known yet about the role of vascular and lifestyle risk factors in the development of preclinical AD. In order to better understand preclinical AD pathology and clinical progression rates, there is a need to refine the concept of preclinical AD. This will be of great value for advancements in future research, clinical trials, and eventually clinical practice.

Keywords: Amyloid; biomarkers; clinical trials; cognition; diagnosis; lifestyle; neuronal injury; preclinical Alzheimer’s disease; prognosis; vascular risk.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease* / pathology
  • Alzheimer Disease* / physiopathology
  • Alzheimer Disease* / prevention & control
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Prodromal Symptoms