Mayo Clinic Laboratories > Neurology > Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease

Accurate answers to guide care

The swift pace of research and discovery around Alzheimer’s disease has yielded new treatments that, more than ever before, give patients a reason to hope. Early, accurate diagnosis is important to access FDA-approved medications and improve patient care.

Our complete menu of innovative Alzheimer's disease evaluations includes both blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers to achieve a high concordance with amyloid positron emission tomography (PET) scans. Using the most up-to-date methodology — automated immunoassay with innovative instrumentation — these tests are clinically validated in our lab and optimized to reduce pre-clinical variability. Offering precision measurements and a fast time to results, our Alzheimer’s assays deliver accurate answers that can improve access to Alzheimer’s disease treatments.

Alzheimer’s disease Test menu

Plasma biomarker testing

Alzheimer’s disease remains a challenge to diagnose, however, heightened understanding of the role of blood biomarkers has enabled the development of noninvasive blood tests that provide a diagnostic tool to aid in the evaluation of patients presenting with mild cognitive impairment or early dementia. Our plasma-based assay evaluates for phosphorylated Tau 217 (p-Tau217), which provides the highest diagnostic accuracy and specificity for the detection of amyloid pathology.  

Key testing


  • Noninvasive blood test with a rapid time to result (1–5 days).
  • Assesses pathological accumulation of beta amyloid in the brain by measuring the amount of phosphorylated Tau 217 (p-Tau217) in plasma.
  • Provides high diagnostic accuracy for the detection of brain amyloid pathology as assessed by amyloid PET imaging.
  • Test interpretation cutpoints have been optimized to obtain an overall 92% sensitivity and 96% specificity for the detection of abnormal amyloid pathology based on amyloid-PET positivity.
  • Uses a two-cutpoint model of result interpretation, which maximizes the overall testing accuracy.
    • A positive result is consistent with the presence of amyloid pathology and supports an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis; a negative result indicates a reduced likelihood that an individual has neuropathological changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease; and an intermediate result cannot accurately differentiate between the presence or absence of neuropathological changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
    • In the case of an intermediate result, additional testing, such as amyloid PET or CSF pTau181/Aβ42 or CSF Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio, is recommended.
  • Promotes increased access to dementia evaluation and potential treatment.
  • Recommended for patients age 50 and older who present with symptoms of mild cognitive impairment or early dementia.
  • This test is NOT intended for asymptomatic patients.
  • Note: Patients with advanced chronic kidney disease may have elevated levels of p-Tau217. In these instances, careful evaluation of a positive result is required.


Cerebrospinal fluid biomarker testing

The results from our CSF evaluations are based on ratios of p-Tau and AB42 (Mayo ID: ADEVL) and AB42 and AB40 (Mayo ID: AMYR), which allow for greater than 90% diagnostic accuracy compared to standard assessments. We also use low-binding tubes, resulting in fewer falsely abnormal results for patients.

Key testing


  • Uses the most up-to-date methodology (automated immunoassay).
  • Evaluates multiple biomarkers and ratios.
  • Aligns with consensus research diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and pre-clinical Alzheimer’s disease as proposed by the National Institute on Aging and Alzheimer’s Associate Research Framework.2
  • AMYR is an FDA-approved evaluation.
  • Positive result enables access to FDA-approved medications.

When to consider testing

  • For the differential diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease versus other causes of cognitive impairment.
  • When patients present with atypical dementia symptoms.
  • To assess Alzheimer’s disease pathology in a mixed diagnosis.
  • To allow for eligibility into clinical trials.

More information

Clear results that guide treatment decisions

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can change patients' lives. Receiving a fast, definitive answer from a healthcare institution they trust can provide hope and a plan for their future. Whether it is the right treatment for symptom management, confirmation of diagnosis, or eligibility for clinical trials, we are here to provide the highest quality of care. 

Fast, cost-effective answers when you need them the most

A differential diagnosis can change treatment and improve patient care. With our testing, a patient receives the answers they need in as little as one day. They don’t have to wait weeks or months to be placed on the right treatment and start planning for their future.

A complementary solution to assist with diagnosis

Standard assessment of suspected Alzheimer's disease patients through clinical and cognitive assessment is 70%–80% accurate. By adding our Alzheimer's disease evaluations, physicians can increase diagnostic accuracy by 12%–22% to ensure they are providing the correct diagnosis and treatment for patients.

Confirm neuronal damage

For patients suspected of having Alzheimer’s disease, testing for neurofilament light chain (NfL), a generic marker of neurodegeneration, can confirm a neurodegenerative disease process. Mayo Clinic Laboratories has developed an innovative assay to test for elevated levels of NfL in the blood. Positive test results not only confirm neuronal damage but can offer insights on disease progression and prognosis to guide therapeutic decision-making.


  1. Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures. Alzheimer’s Association. Published 2023. Accessed Sept. 15, 2023.
  2. Jack CR Jr, Bennett DA, Blennow K, et al. NIA-AA Research Framework: Toward a biological definition of Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimers Dement. 2018 Apr;14(4):535-562. doi:10.1016/j.jalz.2018.02.018. PMID: 29653606; PMCID: PMC5958625.
  3. Rabinovici GD, Gatsonis C, Apgar C, et al. Association of amyloid positron emission tomography with subsequent change in clinical management among medicare beneficiaries with mild cognitive impairment or dementia. JAMA. 2019 Apr 2;321(13):1286-1294.

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