Robert Mullan Cook-Deegan
For decades, lack of rigorous definitions has hampered the interpretation of studies of familial Alzheimer's disease. Failure to specify the criteria by which one calls a case of Alzheimer's disease familial makes a comparison of different studies impossible. More important, and much more often overlooked, is the carelessness associated with use of the term sporadic. Many studies attach the term sporadic to all cases that are not clearly familial. This label biases interpretation in a way that has not been widely recognized. Using sporadic as a synonym for not necessarily familial has obscured the fundamental lack of definitive information in published pedigrees.
For the purpose of titling papers for publication or engaging in informal discussion or delivering health-care services, attention to a rigorous definition of familial Alzheimer's