Potential Implications of Slowing Disease Progression in Amyloid-Positive Early Alzheimer's Disease: Estimates from Real-World Data

J Prev Alzheimers Dis. 2024;11(2):310-319. doi: 10.14283/jpad.2024.27.


Background: Emerging therapies have shown promising results for slowing the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the potential impact of these therapies on real-world outcomes remains to be explored.

Objective: To examine the impact of slowing AD progression on functional abilities and behavioral symptoms.

Design: Retrospective observational study.

Setting: Data from the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center (NACC) Uniform Data Set (UDS) in the United States (06/2005-11/2021, primary analysis) and the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database (09/2005-03/2022, sensitivity analysis) were used.

Participants: Individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or mild dementia, Clinical Dementia Rating Scale Sum of Boxes (CDR-SB) score 0.5-9.0 (inclusive; first visit defined as the index date), and confirmed amyloid positivity were identified in NACC. In ADNI, individuals with at least one clinical center visit with a clinical assessment of MCI or mild dementia and confirmed amyloid positivity were identified.

Measurements: Hypothetical effects of slowing disease progression as assessed by CDR-SB on functional and behavioral outcomes including the Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ) score, Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire (NPI-Q) score, and the probability of complete dependence over five years were evaluated using multivariable regression among NACC participants, separately for the subgroups with MCI and mild dementia at baseline, respectively. For the ADNI sensitivity analysis, the hypothetical effects of slowing disease progression were evaluated for FAQ score using multivariable regression among the MCI participants only.

Results: Compared with natural disease progression, slowing progression by 20% over five years for NACC participants with MCI and mild dementia, respectively, would result in 1.7-point (10.8%) and 1.6-point (12.9%) less deterioration based on FAQ; 0.5-point (20.3%) and 0.5-point (19.3%) less deterioration based on NPI-Q; 4.7 percentage-point (22.2%) and 10.1 percentage-point (21.6%) lower probability of complete dependence. Among ADNI participants, delaying disease progression by 20% or 30% over 4 years would avert deterioration based on FAQ of 1.1 points (20.4%) and 1.6 points (29.6%), respectively, compared to natural disease progression.

Conclusions: Slowing early AD progression could result in preservation of functional and behavioral attributes and functional autonomy for longer.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; beta amyloid; clinical outcomes; disease progression; mild cognitive impairment.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / diagnosis
  • Amyloid
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / diagnosis
  • Dementia* / diagnosis
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans


  • Amyloid