What use are biomarkers anyway?

brain puzzleWhat is all the hype around biomarkers? Well, maybe they refine our estimate of risk. Join the #GeriMedJC discussion on September 28, 2018  at 08:00 ET as we discuss this Markov model. View the presentation live during the hour on Zoom.

Estimation of lifetime risks of Alzheimer’s disease dementia using biomarkers for preclinical disease. Alzheimers Dement. 2018 Aug;14(8):981-988. PMID: 29802030

Lifetime risks are the probabilities of progressing to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) dementia during one’s lifespan. Here, we report the first estimates of the lifetime and ten-year risks of AD dementia based on age, gender, and biomarker tests for preclinical disease.

We used a multistate model for the disease process together with US death rates.

Lifetime risks of AD dementia vary considerably by age, gender, and the preclinical or clinical disease state of the individual. For example, the lifetime risks for a female with only amyloidosis are 8.4% for a 90-year old and 29.3% for a 65-year old. Persons younger than 85 years with mild cognitive impairment, amyloidosis, and neurodegeneration have lifetime risks of AD dementia greater than 50%.

Most persons with preclinical AD will not develop AD dementia during their lifetimes. Lifetime risks help interpret the clinical significance of biomarker screening tests for AD.

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