Journal of Undergraduate Research

Clinical vs Neuropathological Diagnosis in Alzheimer’s Disease Research


clinical, neuropathological, alzheimers disease


Life Sciences




Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia and affects millions of people worldwide. It is the 6th leading cause of death in the United states and the only disease in the top 10 causes of death that does not have a disease altering treatment. Due to the complex nature of the disease, it is difficult to confirm whether a patient has AD or a different form of dementia. Misdiagnosis of AD and other dementias could be leading to the use of inaccurate data in genetic studies specific to AD. In 2014, Beecham et al. collected data from 5,660 AD cases and controls confirmed through neuropathological diagnoses. Using this data, we have assessed the genetic heterogeneity between neuropathologically confirmed AD subjects and clinically diagnosed AD subjects by comparing their proportion of total phenotypic variance. This comparison gives insight into the efficacy of using data collected from clinically diagnosed individuals in AD research.

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