Tahami Monfared AA, Phan NTN, Pearson I, Mauskopf J, Cho M, Zhang Q, Hampel H. A systematic review of clinical practice guidelines for Alzheimer's disease and strategies for future advancements. Neurol Ther. 2023 Aug;12(4):1257-84. doi: 10.1007/s40120-023-00504-6

INTRODUCTION: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a disease continuum from pathophysiological, biomarker, and clinical perspectives. With the advent of advanced technologies, diagnosing and managing patients is evolving.

METHODS: A systematic literature review (SLR) of practice guidelines for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD dementia was performed following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). This systematic literature review (SLR) aimed to summarize current clinical practice guidelines for screening, testing, diagnosis, treatment and monitoring in the AD continuum. The results of this SLR were used to propose a way forward for practice guidelines given the possible introduction of biomarker-guided technology using blood- or plasma-based assays and disease-modifying treatments (DMTs) targeted for early disease.

RESULTS: Fifty-three clinical practice guidelines were identified, 15 of which were published since 2018. Screening for asymptomatic populations was not recommended. Biomarker testing was not included in routine diagnostic practice. There was no consensus on which neurocognitive tests to use to diagnose and monitor MCI or AD dementia. Pharmacological therapies were not recommended for MCI, while cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine were recommended for AD treatment.

DISCUSSION: The pre-2018 and post-2018 practice guidelines share similar recommendations for screening, diagnosis, and treatment. However, once DMTs are approved, clinicians will require guidance on the appropriate use of DMTs in a clinical setting. This guidance should include strategies for identifying eligible patients and evaluating the DMT benefit-to-risk profile to facilitate shared decision-making between physicians, patients, and care partners.

CONCLUSION: Regular, evidence-based updates of existing guidelines for the AD continuum are required over the coming decades to integrate rapidly evolving technological and medical scientific advances and bring emerging approaches for management of early disease into clinical practice, paving the way toward biomarker-guided identification and targeted treatment and the realization of precision medicine for AD.

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