Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is important for learning and memory and is altered early in Alzheimer's disease. As hippocampal neurogenesis is modulated by the circulatory systemic environment, evaluating a proxy of how hippocampal neurogenesis is affected by the systemic milieu could serve as an early biomarker for Alzheimer's disease progression. Here, we used an in vitro assay to model the impact of systemic environment on hippocampal neurogenesis. A human hippocampal progenitor cell line was treated with longitudinal serum samples from individuals with mild cognitive impairment, who either progressed to Alzheimer's disease or remained cognitively stable. Mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's disease progression was characterized most prominently with decreased proliferation, increased cell death and increased neurogenesis. A subset of 'baseline' cellular readouts together with education level were able to predict Alzheimer's disease progression. The assay could provide a powerful platform for early prognosis, monitoring disease progression and further mechanistic studies.