Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Julie Solberg


Alzheimer’s Disease; Alzheimer’s disease screening; cognitive screening tests; DNA; laboratory diagnostic studies; neuroimaging


Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that affects more than 55 million Americans. By the year 2050, experts project this disease will have increased three fold. Many screening techniques have been investigated to detect this disease early and begin treatment to slow its progression. The purpose of this study was to explore which medical modalities are the most effective for screening of Alzheimer’s disease. This literature review includes three databases, including PubMed, CINHAL, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Topics that were researched include: cognitive screening tests, neuroimaging, laboratory diagnostic testing, DNA, and combined studies. Research was conducted from October 8, 2017 to January 3, 2018. All resources were published within the last ten years. Limitations and strengths were considered within each modality. In each category, the following were found to be the most effective in screening for Alzheimer’s disease: cognitive screening tests: MOST and MoCA testing; neuroimaging: PET scanning; laboratory diagnostic testing: biomarkers; DNA: DNA methylation and APOE genotyping; and combined studies: PET scanning. This review demonstrates that there are many screening modalities available to providers. This allows providers to choose their screening technique based on their site’s availability, provider preference, and cost.