PURPOSE OF REVIEW Alzheimer disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia in adults (mid to late life), highlighting the importance of understanding the risk factors, clinical manifestations, and recent developments in diagnostic testing and therapeutics. RECENT FINDINGS Advances in fluid (CSF and blood-based) and imaging biomarkers are allowing for a more precise and earlier diagnosis of AD (relative to non-AD dementias) across the disease spectrum and in patients with atypical clinical features. Specifically, tau- and amyloid-related AD pathologic changes can now be measured by CSF, plasma, and positron emission tomography (PET) with good precision. Additionally, a better understanding of risk factors for AD has highlighted the need for clinicians to address comorbidities to maximize prevention of cognitive decline in those at risk or to slow decline in patients who are symptomatic. Recent clinical trials of amyloid-lowering drugs have provided not only some optimism that amyloid reduction or prevention may be beneficial but also a recognition that addressing additional targets will be necessary for significant disease modification. SUMMARY Recent developments in fluid and imaging biomarkers have led to the improved understanding of AD as a chronic condition with a protracted presymptomatic phase followed by the clinical stage traditionally recognized by neurologists. As clinical trials of potential disease-modifying therapies continue, important developments in the understanding of the disease will improve clinical care now and lead to more effective therapies in the near future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)648-675
Number of pages28
JournalCONTINUUM Lifelong Learning in Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022


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