Research diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's disease: findings from the LipiDiDiet randomized controlled trial

A. Rosenberg*, A. Solomon, H. Soininen, P.J. Visser, K. Blennow, T. Hartmann, M. Kivipelto, LipiDiDiet Clinical Study Grp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BackgroundTo explore the utility of the International Working Group (IWG)-1 criteria in recruitment for Alzheimer's disease (AD) clinical trials, we applied the more recently proposed research diagnostic criteria to individuals enrolled in a randomized controlled prevention trial (RCT) and assessed their disease progression.MethodsThe multinational LipiDiDiet RCT targeted 311 individuals with IWG-1 defined prodromal AD. Based on centrally analyzed baseline biomarkers, participants were classified according to the IWG-2 and National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer's Association (NIA-AA) 2011 and 2018 criteria. Linear mixed models were used to investigate the 2-year change in cognitive and functional performance (Neuropsychological Test Battery NTB Z scores, Clinical Dementia Rating-Sum of Boxes CDR-SB) (criteria x time interactions; baseline score, randomization group, sex, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), and age also included in the models). Cox models adjusted for randomization group, MMSE, sex, age, and study site were used to investigate the risk of progression to dementia over 2 years.ResultsIn total, 88%, 86%, and 69% of participants had abnormal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) beta -amyloid, total tau, and phosphorylated tau, respectively; 64% had an A+T+N+ profile (CSF available for N=107). Cognitive-functional decline appeared to be more pronounced in the IWG-2 prodromal AD, NIA-AA 2011 high and intermediate AD likelihood, and NIA-AA 2018 AD groups, but few significant differences were observed between the groups within each set of criteria. Hazard ratio (95% CI) for dementia was 4.6 (1.6-13.7) for IWG-2 prodromal AD (reference group no prodromal AD), 7.4 (1.0-54.7) for NIA-AA 2011 high AD likelihood (reference group suspected non-AD pathology SNAP), and 9.4 (1.2-72.7) for NIA-AA 2018 AD (reference group non-Alzheimer's pathologic change). Compared with the NIA-AA 2011 high AD likelihood group (abnormal beta -amyloid and neuronal injury markers), disease progression was similar in the intermediate AD likelihood group (medial temporal lobe atrophy; no CSF available).ConclusionsDespite being less restrictive than the other criteria, the IWG-1 criteria reliably identified individuals with AD pathology. More pragmatic and easily applicable selection criteria might be preferred due to feasibility in certain situations, e.g., in multidomain prevention trials that do not specifically target beta -amyloid/tau pathologies.Trial registrationNetherlands Trial Register, NL1620. Registered on 9 March 2009
Original languageEnglish
Article number64
Number of pages11
JournalAlzheimer's Research & Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2021


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Prodromal Alzheimer's disease
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Prevention
  • Disease progression
  • Research criteria
  • Early diagnosis
  • Biomarkers
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • NIA-AA
  • TAU


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