Pattern and implications of neurological examination findings in autosomal dominant Alzheimer disease

Alzheimers Dement. 2023 Feb;19(2):632-645. doi: 10.1002/alz.12684. Epub 2022 May 24.


Introduction: As knowledge about neurological examination findings in autosomal dominant Alzheimer disease (ADAD) is incomplete, we aimed to determine the frequency and significance of neurological examination findings in ADAD.

Methods: Frequencies of neurological examination findings were compared between symptomatic mutation carriers and non mutation carriers from the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN) to define AD neurological examination findings. AD neurological examination findings were analyzed regarding frequency, association with and predictive value regarding cognitive decline, and association with brain atrophy in symptomatic mutation carriers.

Results: AD neurological examination findings included abnormal deep tendon reflexes, gait disturbance, pathological cranial nerve examination findings, tremor, abnormal finger to nose and heel to shin testing, and compromised motor strength. The frequency of AD neurological examination findings was 65.1%. Cross-sectionally, mutation carriers with AD neurological examination findings showed a more than two-fold faster cognitive decline and had greater parieto-temporal atrophy, including hippocampal atrophy. Longitudinally, AD neurological examination findings predicted a significantly greater decline over time.

Discussion: ADAD features a distinct pattern of neurological examination findings that is useful to estimate prognosis and may inform clinical care and therapeutic trial designs.

Keywords: Alzheimer disease; autosomal dominant Alzheimer disease; differential diagnosis; neurological examination; neurological examination findings; predictive value; prognosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / pathology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Neurologic Examination

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