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Kornhuber, Johannes; Schmidtke, Klaus; Frölich, Lutz; Perneczky, Robert; Wolf, Stefanie; Hampel, Harald; Jessen, Frank; Heuser, Isabella; Peters, Oliver; Weih, Markus; Jahn, Holger; Luckhaus, Christian; Huell, Michael; Gertz, Hermann-Josef; Schroeder, Johannes; Pantel, Johannes; Rienhoff, Otto; Seuchter, Susanne A.; Ruüther, Eckart; Henn, Fritz; Maier, Wolfgang; Wiltfang, Jens (2009): Early and Differential Diagnosis of Dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment Design and Cohort Baseline Characteristics of the German Dementia Competence Network. In: Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, No. 5: pp. 404-417


Background: The German Dementia Competence Network (DCN) has established procedures for standardized multicenter acquisition of clinical, biological and imaging data, for centralized data management, and for the evaluation of new treatments. Methods: A longitudinal cohort study was set up for patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), patients with mild dementia and control subjects. The aims were to establish the diagnostic, differential diagnostic and prognostic power of a range of clinical, laboratory and imaging methods. Furthermore, 2 clinical trials were conducted with patients suffering from MCI and mild to moderate Alzheimer's Disease (AD). These trials aimed at evaluating the efficacy and safety of the combination of galantamine and memantine versus galantamine alone. Results: Here, we report on the scope and projects of the DCN, the methods that were employed, the composition and flow within the diverse groups of patients and control persons and on the clinical and neuropsychological baseline characteristics of the group of 2,113 subjects who participated in the observational and clinical trials. Conclusion: These data have an impact on the procedures for the early and differential clinical diagnosis of dementias, the current standard treatment of AD as well as on future clinical trials in AD. Copyright (C) 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel