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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2010, Article ID 972685, 6 pages
Review Article

Diagnostic Tests for Alzheimer's Disease: Rationale, Methodology, and Challenges

1Centre of Mental Health, Imperial College London, London W6 8LN, UK
2Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7LJ, UK

Received 27 April 2010; Accepted 1 July 2010

Academic Editor: Henrik Zetterberg

Copyright © 2010 S. E. Mason et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There has been a large increase in the amount of research seeking to define or diagnose Alzheimer's disease before patients develop dementia. If successful, this would principally have clinical benefits both in terms of treatment as well as risk modification. Moreover, a better method for diagnosing predementia disease would assist research which seeks to develop such treatments and risk modification strategies. The evidence-based definition of a diagnostic test's accuracy is fundamental to achieve the above goals and to address this, the Cochrane Collaboration has established a Diagnostic Test Accuracy group dedicated to examining the utility and accuracy of proposed tests in dementia and cognitive impairment. We present here the assumptions and observations underpinning the chosen methodology as well as the initial methodological approach decided upon.