Do NIA-AA criteria distinguish Alzheimer's disease from frontotemporal dementia?

Research paper by Jennifer M JM Harris, Jennifer C JC Thompson, Claire C Gall, Anna M T AM Richardson, David D Neary, Daniel D du Plessis, Piyali P Pal, David M A DM Mann, Julie S JS Snowden, Matthew M Jones

Indexed on: 16 Jul '14Published on: 16 Jul '14Published in: Alzheimer's & Dementia


Clinical criteria are important for improving diagnostic accuracy and ensuring comparability of patient cohorts in research studies.The aim was to assess the National Institute on Aging and Alzheimer's Association (NIA-AA) criteria for Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia in AD and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD).Two hundred twelve consecutive patients with pathologically confirmed AD or FTLD who were clinically assessed in a specialist cognitive unit were identified. Fifty-five patients were excluded predominantly because of insufficient clinical information. Anonymized clinical data were rated against the NIA-AA criteria by raters who were blinded to clinical and pathologic diagnosis.The NIA-AA AD dementia criteria had a sensitivity of 65.6% for probable and 79.5% for possible AD and a specificity of 95.2% and 94.0% for probable and possible, respectively.In patients with FTLD and predominantly early-onset AD, the NIA-AA AD dementia criteria have high specificity but lower sensitivity. The high specificity is due to the broad exclusion criteria.