When Is Alzheimer's Not Dementia—Cochrane Commentary on the National Institute on Ageing and Alzheimer's Association Research Framework for Alzheimer's Disease

Jenny Mccleery; Leon Flicker; Edo Richard; Terence J. Quinn


Age Ageing. 2019;48(2):174-177. 

In This Article

What's in a Name

The use of the term 'Alzheimer's disease' to describe everyone with positive biomarker tests, regardless of symptoms, can only cause confusion. For the public and clinicians the term 'Alzheimer's disease' is synonymous with clinical dementia. We suggest that it will not be possible to communicate a change in the meaning of 'Alzheimer's disease' to the wider community and that the various additional terms proposed ('dementia due to Alzheimer's disease', 'Alzheimer's disease with dementia' and 'Alzheimer's clinical syndrome') will be of little help in this regard. In our view, this new terminology, as well as being unnecessary for the stated purpose of facilitating research, will lead inevitably to a serious problem of over-diagnosis.