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Validity of current clinical criteria for Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies

  • Clive Holmes (a1), Nigel Cairns (a2), Peter L. Lantos (a3) and Anthony Mann (a3)



Following the success of the NINCDS–ADRDA criteria for Alzheimer's disease, groups interested in vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies have now adopted similar criteria.


To assess whether the validity of these criteria are influenced by the prevalence of mixed pathologies or by the prevalence rate.


A community based postmortem study.


Mixed pathologies were common (33.8%). The high specificities obtained for the CDLB and NINDS–AIREN criteria (1.00 and 0.95, respectively) were associated with low sensitivities (0.22 and 0.43, respectively). Low prevalence and the presence of mixed pathologies had a deleterious effect on positive predictive values.


Current clinical diagnostic criteria are good at detecting pathology per se but not at detecting pure pathology. A large proportion of subjects from the general population fulfilling probable CDLB, probable NINCDS–ADRDA or probable NINDS–AIREN will have mixed pathologies.


Corresponding author

Dr Clive Holmes, University of Southampton, Thornhill Research Unit, Moorgreen Hospital, Botley Road, West End, Southampton SO30 3JB. Tel: (+44) 01703 475446; Fax: (+44) 01703 475446


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Declaration of interest

Supported by the Medical Research Council (UK) and by a project grant from the Wellcome Trust.



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Validity of current clinical criteria for Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies

  • Clive Holmes (a1), Nigel Cairns (a2), Peter L. Lantos (a3) and Anthony Mann (a3)
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