Alzheimer’s disease in the NAS-NRC registry of aging twin veterans: II. longitudinal findings in a pilot series

John C.S. Breitner, K. A. Welsh, C. D. Robinette, B. A. Gau, M. F. Folstein, J. Brandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Over 3 years we followed 8 pairs of male twins one or both of whom had suspected Alzheimer’s disease (AD) including ‘mild/ambiguous’ changes suggestive of incident AD. These pairs were screened in 1988 and 1989 from 339 pairs in the (US) National Academy of Sciences - National Research Council Registry (NASR) of aging veteran twins, then 61-72 years of age. Most of the suspected cases (10 of 12) had mild/ambiguous changes. Including these subjects, we had estimated the prevalence of AD in the NASR as about 2%. We now describe briefly the longitudinal evaluation of these 8 pairs. Only 1 of the 10 individuals with mild/ambiguous changes has progressed to show well- defined clinical symptoms of AD. Two others remain in their original research category, while 7 clearly do not have AD. Thus, we now estimate the 1988-1989 prevalence of AD in the NASR as 0.5%. These results contrast with other follow-up studies of mild cases from a university-based Alzheimer’s clinic. We suggest that the contrasting findings reflect the nature of the samples studied, and we show that the present results are predicted by Bayesian reasoning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-105
Number of pages7
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1994


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cognitive symptoms
  • Longitudinal concordance
  • Prevalence
  • Twin studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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