NIA-AA Research Framework
July 18 at 2 p.m.
Open for comments through September 15.
In 2011, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Alzheimer's Association published revised guidelines (NIA-AA) for modernization of the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. In these guidelines, the workgroups identified Alzheimer's disease as a continuum with three distinct stages: Preclinical, Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia. Since the 2011 publication of the NIA-AA guidelines, there have been a number of studies reporting data that support the need to develop a framework around the pathophysiologic changes throughout the continuum and the clinical context of symptoms for an individual. In 2016, the NIA and Alzheimer's Association convened an international workgroup of scientific experts tasked with the evaluation of the existing guidelines. The workgroup discussions are on-going.
The NIA-AA workgroup's goal is to define Alzheimer's disease and stage it across both the pathophysiologic and clinical continua. The NIA-AA workgroup proposes Alzheimer's disease should be defined as a pathophysiological construct. As in other diseases, such as osteoporosis or diabetes, biomarkers alone define the presence of the disease in a living person regardless of their symptoms. Clinical symptoms assist in staging the clinical severity of the disease. The NIA-AA workgroup will share an update on their discussions of this conceptual model for the proposed framework and the research needed to validate it.
The goal of the framework is to advance the field in understanding the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's and allow for testing of hypotheses related to development and progression of disease in diverse populations and settings. It is expected discussions during the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) will involve feedback which will continue to refine the workgroup's thinking and revision process.
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