Alzheimer's disease (AD) is classically defined as a dual clinicopathological entity. The recent advances in use of reliable biomarkers of AD that provide in-vivo evidence of the disease has stimulated the development of new research criteria that reconceptualise the diagnosis around both a specific pattern of cognitive changes and structural/biological evidence of Alzheimer's pathology. This new diagnostic framework has stimulated debate about the definition of AD and related conditions. The potential for drugs to intercede in the pathogenic cascade of the disease adds some urgency to this debate. This paper by the International Working Group for New Research Criteria for the Diagnosis of AD aims to advance the scientific discussion by providing broader diagnostic coverage of the AD clinical spectrum and by proposing a common lexicon as a point of reference for the clinical and research communities. The cornerstone of this lexicon is to consider AD solely as a clinical and symptomatic entity that encompasses both predementia and dementia phases.