New Alzheimer’s guidelines include pre-dementia criteria

INTERNATIONAL guidelines for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease (AD), updated for the first time in more than 25 years, have refined core criteria for diagnosing symptomatic pre-dementia.

Written by experts convened by the US National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association, they include core clinical criteria for diagnosing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to Alzheimer’s disease.

John Snowdon, professor of aged psychiatry at Concord Hospital and the University of Sydney, said when a patient became more forgetful than before, they had a good chance of developing dementia.

“When there’s evidence of change, even though they are functioning well enough not to call it AD… this is very likely to proceed to a degenerative dementia, presumably AD,” he said.

However, he said it was important to recognise that MCI could have causes other than AD.

The MCI criteria include concern