Systematic review: fluid biomarkers and machine learning methods to improve the diagnosis from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease

Kevin Blanco, Stefanny Salcidua, Paulina Orellana, Tania Sauma-Pérez, Tomás León, Lorena Cecilia López Steinmetz, Agustín Ibañez, Claudia Duran-Aniotz, Rolando de la Cruz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is often considered an early stage of dementia, with estimated rates of progression to dementia up to 80–90% after approximately 6 years from the initial diagnosis. Diagnosis of cognitive impairment in dementia is typically based on clinical evaluation, neuropsychological assessments, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers, and neuroimaging. The main goal of diagnosing MCI is to determine its cause, particularly whether it is due to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, only a limited percentage of the population has access to etiological confirmation, which has led to the emergence of peripheral fluid biomarkers as a diagnostic tool for dementias, including MCI due to AD. Recent advances in biofluid assays have enabled the use of sophisticated statistical models and multimodal machine learning (ML) algorithms for the diagnosis of MCI based on fluid biomarkers from CSF, peripheral blood, and saliva, among others. This approach has shown promise for identifying specific causes of MCI, including AD. After a PRISMA analysis, 29 articles revealed a trend towards using multimodal algorithms that incorporate additional biomarkers such as neuroimaging, neuropsychological tests, and genetic information. Particularly, neuroimaging is commonly used in conjunction with fluid biomarkers for both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. Our systematic review suggests that cost-effective longitudinal multimodal monitoring data, representative of diverse cultural populations and utilizing white-box ML algorithms, could be a valuable contribution to the development of diagnostic models for AD due to MCI. Clinical assessment and biomarkers, together with ML techniques, could prove pivotal in improving diagnostic tools for MCI due to AD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number176
JournalAlzheimer's Research and Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Fluid biomarker
  • Machine learning
  • Mild cognitive impairment


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