Age-stratified longitudinal study of Alzheimer's and vascular dementia patients

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INTRODUCTION: Similar symptoms, comorbidities and suboptimal diagnostic tests make the distinction between different types of dementia difficult, although this is essential for improved work-up and treatment optimization.

METHODS: We calculated temporal disease trajectories of earlier multi-morbidities in Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia and vascular dementia (VaD) patients using the Danish National Patient Registry covering all hospital encounters in Denmark (1994 to 2016). Subsequently, we reduced the comorbidity space dimensionality using a non-linear technique, uniform manifold approximation and projection.

RESULTS: We found 49,112 and 24,101 patients that were diagnosed with AD or VaD, respectively. Temporal disease trajectories showed very similar disease patterns before the dementia diagnosis. Stratifying patients by age and reducing the comorbidity space to two dimensions, showed better discrimination between AD and VaD patients in early-onset dementia.

DISCUSSION: Similar age-associated comorbidities, the phenomenon of mixed dementia, and misdiagnosis create great challenges in discriminating between classical subtypes of dementia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAlzheimer's & Dementia
Pages (from-to)908-917
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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