Background We assessed whether mild cognitive impairment (MCI) subtypes could be empirically derived within the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) MCI cohort and examined associated biomarkers and clinical outcomes. Methods Cluster analysis was performed on neuropsychological data from 825 MCI ADNI participants. Results Four subtypes emerged: (1) dysnomic (n = 153), (2) dysexecutive (n = 102), (3) amnestic (n = 288), and (4) cluster-derived normal (n = 282) who performed within normal limits on cognitive testing. The cluster-derived normal group had significantly fewer APOE ε4 carriers and fewer who progressed to dementia compared with the other subtypes; they also evidenced cerebrospinal fluid Alzheimer's disease biomarker profiles that did not differ from the normative reference group. Conclusions Identification of empirically derived MCI subtypes demonstrates heterogeneity in MCI cognitive profiles that is not captured by conventional criteria. The large cluster-derived normal group suggests that conventional diagnostic criteria are susceptible to false-positive errors, with the result that prior MCI studies may be diluting important biomarker relationships.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Policy
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Clinical Neurology
- Geriatrics and Gerontology
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience