[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Citations 0
March 4, 1998

Consensus Statement on Alzheimer Disease

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(9):655-656. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-9-jbk0304

To the Editor.—In their Consensus Statement on Alzheimer disease, Dr Small and colleagues1 contend that the diagnosis of Alzheimer disease must be primarily one of inclusion, not exclusion. We believe it is the opposite.

We concur that the diagnosis of the dementia syndrome is primarily one of inclusion. But once the clinician decides that a patient has dementia, the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer disease remains primarily one of exclusion. Specifically, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition2 explains that the diagnosis of Alzheimer disease will be established only after excluding other causes of the dementia. On the other hand, Small et al1 give no further explanation to support their contention.