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Biomarkers for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia Lewy body, frontotemporal dementia and vascular dementia
  1. Joshua Marvin Anthony Maclin1,2,3,
  2. Tao Wang2,3 and
  3. Shifu Xiao2,3
  1. 1 Department of Geriatric Psychiatry, Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
  2. 2 Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
  3. 3 Department of Neuroscience, Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor Tao Wang; wtshhwy{at}


Background Dementia is a chronic brain disorder classified by four distinct diseases that impact cognition and mental degeneration. Each subgroup exhibits similar brain deficiencies and mutations. This review will focus on four dementia subgroups: Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia and dementia Lewy body.

Aim The aim of this systematic review is to create a concise overview of unique similarities within dementia used to locate and identify new biomarker methods in diagnosing dementia.

Methods 123 300 articles published after 2010 were identified from PubMed, JSTOR, WorldCat Online Computer Library and PALNI (Private Academic Library Network of Indiana) using the following search items (in title or abstract): ‘Neurodegenerative Diseases’ OR ‘Biomarkers’ OR ‘Alzheimer’s Disease’ OR ‘Frontal Temporal Lobe Dementia’ OR ‘Vascular Dementia’ OR ‘Dementia Lewy Body’ OR ‘Cerebral Spinal Fluid’ OR ‘Mental Cognitive Impairment’. 47 studies were included in the qualitative synthesis.

Results Evidence suggested neuroimaging with amyloid positron emission tomography (PET) scanning and newly found PET tracers to be more effective in diagnosing Alzheimer’s and amnesiac mental cognitive impairment than carbon-11 Pittsburgh compound-B radioisotope tracer. Newly created methods to make PET scans more accurate and practical in clinical settings signify a major shift in diagnosing dementia and neurodegenerative diseases.

Conclusion Vast improvements in neuroimaging techniques have led to newly discovered biomarkers and diagnostics. Neuroimaging with amyloid PET scanning surpasses what had been considered the dominant method of neuroimaging and MRI. Newly created methods to make PET scans more accurate and practical in clinical settings signify a major shift in diagnosing dementia pathology. Continued research and studies must be conducted to improve current findings and streamline methods to further subcategorise neurodegenerative disorders and diagnosis.

  • neurodegenerative diseases
  • dementia
  • biomarkers
  • alzheimer’s disease
  • frontal temporal lobe dementia
  • vascular dementia
  • cerebral spinal fluid
  • mental cognitive impairment

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  • Contributors JMAM was the sole writer. TW and SX reviewed and revised the paper.

  • Funding This study was funded by the Municipal Human Resources Development Program for Outstanding Leaders in Medical Discipline in Shanghai (2017BR054), Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine Collaborative Innovation Project (TM201728), Shanghai Municipal Education Commission-Gaofeng Clinical Medicine Grant Support (20172029) and also the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81571298).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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