Biomarkers study in atypical dementia: proof of a diagnostic work-up

Gemma Lombardi, Cristina Polito, Valentina Berti, Camilla Ferrari, Giulia Lucidi, Silvia Bagnoli, Irene Piaceri, Benedetta Nacmias, Alberto Pupi, Sandro Sorbi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An early differentiation between Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and other dementias is crucial for an adequate patients’ management, albeit it may result difficult for the occurrence of “atypical presentations.” Current diagnostic criteria recognize the importance of biomarkers for AD diagnosis, but still an optimal diagnostic work-up isn’t available. Evaluate the utility and reproducibility of biomarkers and propose an “optimal” diagnostic work-up in atypical dementia: (1) a retrospective selection of “atypical dementia cases”; (2) a repetition of diagnostic assessment by two neurologists following two different diagnostic work-ups, each consisting of multiple steps; (3) a comparison between diagnostic accuracy and confidence reached at each step by both neurologists and evaluation of the inter-rater agreement. In AD, regardless of the undertaken diagnostic work-up, a significant gain in accuracy was reached by both neurologists after the second step, whereas in frontotemporal dementia (FTD), adding subsequent steps was not always sufficient to increase significantly the baseline accuracy. A relevant increment in diagnostic confidence was detectable after studying pathophysiological markers in AD, and after assessing brain metabolism in FTD. The inter-rater agreement was higher at the second step for the AD group when the pathophysiological markers were available and for the FTD group when the results of FDG-PET were accessible. In atypical cases of dementia, biomarkers significantly raise diagnostic accuracy, confidence, and agreement. This study introduces a proof of diagnostic work-up that combines imaging and CSF biomarkers and suggests distinct ways to proceed on the basis of a greater diagnostic likelihood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalNeurological Sciences
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Biomarker
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Diagnostic work-up
  • Frontotemporal Dementia
  • PET imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Biomarkers study in atypical dementia: proof of a diagnostic work-up'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this