Needs and Challenges in Alzheimer Disease Diagnosis: Eric Reiman, MD


The approval of aducanumab and other advancements in Alzheimer disease diagnosis remain at the forefront of discussion; Eric Reiman, MD, spoke on the state of diagnosis and those ongoing conversations.

“Right now, with the approval of aducanumab, it will be interesting to see how CMS [Centers for Medicare & Services] responds in terms of supporting approval for amyloid PET scans…or CSF [cerebrospinal fluid] measures to confirm amyloid positivity or negativity, which we think is very important before considering a drug like aducanumab.”

The process of Alzheimer disease (AD) diagnosis is seeing potential for advancement in several areas, particularly with the recent and controversial approval of aducanumab (Aduhelm; Biogen/Eisai). Eric Reiman, MD, spoke with NeurologyLive on detection and diagnosis of AD, noting encouraging aspects, as well as those that may need improvement. 

Reiman, who is the executive director of Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, discussed digital biomarkers, which may allow assessment of patients via information they provide passively, related to mobility, speech patterns, or other criteria. In discussing aducanumab, the publication of appropriate use criteria, presented at the 2021 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC), July 26-30, encouraged experts in AD, suggesting that clinicians need to be able to confirm mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia, as well as the presence of amyloid deposition. Finding more scalable ways to identifying patients who may fall into these categories—potentially virtually—is an area that could provide benefit, Reiman said. 

For more coverage of AAIC 2021, click here.

Cummings JL, Aisen P, Apostolova LG, Atri A, Salloway S, Weiner M. Aducanumab: Appropriate Use Recommendations. J Prev Alzheimers Dis. Published online July 20, 2021. doi: 10.14283/jpad.2021.41.
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