Evaluating combinations of diagnostic tests to discriminate different dementia types

Marie Bruun (Corresponding Author), Hanneke F.M. Rhodius-Meester, Juha Koikkalainen, Marta Baroni, Le Gjerum, Afina W. Lemstra, Frederik Barkhof, Anne M. Remes, Timo Urhemaa, Antti Tolonen, Daniel Rueckert, Mark van Gils, Kristian S. Frederiksen, Gunhild Waldemar, Philip Scheltens, Patrizia Mecocci, Hilkka Soininen, Jyrki Lötjönen, Steen G. Hasselbalch, Wiesje M. van der Flier

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    21 Citations (Scopus)


    Introduction: We studied, using a data-driven approach, how different combinations of diagnostic tests contribute to the differential diagnosis of dementia. Methods: In this multicenter study, we included 356 patients with Alzheimer's disease, 87 frontotemporal dementia, 61 dementia with Lewy bodies, 38 vascular dementia, and 302 controls. We used a classifier to assess accuracy for individual performance and combinations of cognitive tests, cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers, and automated magnetic resonance imaging features for pairwise differentiation between dementia types.

    Results: Cognitive tests had good performance in separating any type of dementia from controls. Cerebrospinal fluid optimally contributed to identifying Alzheimer's disease, whereas magnetic resonance imaging features aided in separating vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, and frontotemporal dementia. Combining diagnostic tests increased the accuracy, with balanced accuracies ranging from 78% to 97%.

    Discussion: Different diagnostic tests have their distinct roles in differential diagnostics of dementias. Our results indicate that combining different diagnostic tests may increase the accuracy further.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)509-518
    JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible


    • Alzheimer's disease
    • Biomarkers
    • Clinical decision support system
    • CSF
    • Dementia with Lewy bodies
    • Diagnostic test assessment
    • Differential diagnosis
    • Frontotemporal dementia
    • MRI
    • Vascular dementia


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