Toward a new nosology of neurodegenerative diseases

New “omic” technologies are revealing shared and distinct biological pathways within and across neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs), allowing a better understanding of endophenotypes that exceeds the boundaries of the current diagnostic criteria. Moreover, a diagnostic framework is needed that can accommodate the co-pathology and the clinical overlap and heterogeneity of NDDs. Apart from dissecting the reasons for a revolution in how we conceive NDD, this article aims to prompt a change in how we diagnose and classify NDD, drafting a general scheme for a new nosology. As identifying a cause is the key to using the term “disease” properly, we propose using a tridimensional classification based on three axes: (1) etiology or pathogenic mechanism, (2) pathology markers and molecular biomarkers, (3) anatomic–clinical; and three hierarchical levels of etiology: (1) genetic/sporadic (2) cellular pathways and processes, and function of fluidic brain systems, and (3) risk factors.

Reference: Menéndez-González, MToward a new nosology of neurodegenerative diseasesAlzheimer's Dement202317