INTRODUCTION: Reversion, or change in cognitive status from impaired to normal, is common in aging and dementia studies, but it remains unclear what factors predict reversion. METHODS: We investigated whether reverters, defined as those who revert from a Clinical Dementia Rating® (CDR®) scale score of 0.5 to CDR 0) differed on cognition and biomarkers from unimpaired participants (always CDR 0) and impaired participants (converted to CDR > 0 and had no reversion events). Models evaluated relationships between biomarker status, apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 status, and cognition. Additional models described predictors of reversion and predictors of eventual progression to CDR > 0. RESULTS: CDR reversion was associated with younger age, better cognition, and negative amyloid biomarker status. Reverters that eventually progressed to CDR > 0 had more visits, were older, and were more likely to have an APOE ε4 allele. DISCUSSION: CDR reversion occupies a transitional phase in disease progression between cognitive normality and overt dementia. Reverters may be ideal candidates for secondary prevention Alzheimer's disease (AD) trials. Highlights: Reverters had more longitudinal cognitive decline than those who remained cognitively normal. Predictors of reversion: younger age, better cognition, and negative amyloid biomarker status. Reverting from CDR 0.5 to 0 is a risk factor for future conversion to CDR > 0. CDR reversion may be a transitional phase in Alzheimer's Disease progression. CDR reverters may be ideal for Alzheimer's disease secondary prevention trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2080-2088
Number of pages9
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • Alzheimer disease
  • biomarkers
  • clinical dementia rating scale
  • clinical reversion
  • cognition
  • dementia


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