A comprehensive approach to the prevention of Alzheimer's disease (AD) warrants a synergy across multiple domains and procedures. Whereas the study of biological markers has mobilized major activity in the field, the development of cognitive markers is largely ignored, despite the unique advantages they may offer. Cognitive markers essentially assess the core clinical feature that biological markers intend to predict. In this respect, cognitive markers expand the foundation of preclinical diagnostics and disease staging in a manner that integrates both physiological and psychological factors. In addition, the cost-effective implementation of cognitive markers makes them remarkably conducive to community-wide screenings, and thereby a vital component of any global blueprint for prevention. Specifically, in the primary care setting, cognitive markers may provide effective gate keeping for more invasive, labor intensive, and expensive procedures. From this perspective, cognitive markers may provide the first step for identifying preclinical treatment recipients in general public. Moreover, the detection of preclinical decline via cognitive markers can increase awareness of AD risk and the motivation for making protective lifestyle changes. The behavioral approach might be expedient for prevention in light of the compelling evidence of lifestyle amelioration of AD risk. In an integrative view, incorporating cognitive markers to primary care may facilitate a synergetic development in preventive interventions that carries epidemiological significance. This paper addresses the theoretical, methodological, and pragmatic aspects of this prospect.
- Alzheimer's disease
- early diagnosis