Nav: Home

New study to document Alzheimer's disease risk factors in Latinos

February 22, 2017

(Chicago) - Rush University Medical Center has launched a unique, cohort study called Latino Core to learn about the aging process and risk factors for Alzheimer's disease in older Latino adults.

"This study looks at cognitive and motor function, dementia and Alzheimer's disease risks in the Latino population in the Chicago area," said Dr. David X. Marquez, lead investigator of the study at the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center.

"Past studies suggest that Latinos may have a higher risk of developing dementia compared to other groups and a significant number appear to be getting Alzheimer's disease at a younger age," says Marquez. "Also, past surveys indicate that Latinos are less likely to see doctors because of financial and language barriers, often mistaking dementia symptoms for normal aging, thus delaying diagnosis."

"However, there has not been much research to understand why it is that Latinos are developing these conditions much earlier," said Marquez. "Further, while we talk about Latinos as a group, they are a very heterogeneous group. Many prior studies are Latinos from the Caribbean islands. The Chicago area is comprised primarily of Latinos of Mexican heritage."

The Latino Core study at Rush is part of the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Core Center, which was refunded in July 2016 for $14.3 million grant by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health. The Rush Alzheimer's Disease Core Center is a long-term, 30-year program.

A unique aspect of the Latino Core is that the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Core Center includes the African American Core and the Religious Orders Study Core. The greater Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center also includes the Rush Memory and Aging Project and the Minority Aging Research Study, which annually recruit and collect data from black and Latino participants without dementia, some of whom also agree to donate their brains upon death. All five cohort studies are conducted by the same investigative team with the same data allowing comparison across race and ethnicity among more than 4,500 persons.

"We know so much about white people and we don't know much about pathology in Latinos and African Americans, and it may be different," said Dr. David Bennett, director of the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center.

The Latino Core study will enroll more than 300 older Latinos without dementia. Participants will receive yearly visits at their home at no cost which are conducted in Spanish or English. This will include taking memory exams, a blood draw and answering questions about health and lifestyle.

They will be asked to consider brain donation at the time of death as brain autopsy allows researchers to correlate physical changes in the brain with observed and reported memory and related problems while living.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia, a condition that degrades cognitive functions such as reasoning, memory and judgment. The disease affects about 5.4 million people in the United States, according to the Alzheimer's Association, which estimates that Alzheimer's and other dementias will cost the U.S. $236 billion this year.

"Alzheimer's disease is a major cause of death, it's a major cause of disability, it's a major cause of economic hardship, family hardship," Bennett says. "For most people, their thinking and their memories are among the most precious things they have."

The Alzheimer's Association says that about 200,000 Latinos in the United States have Alzheimer's, but the number could reach 1.3 million by 2050 based on Census Bureau figures and a study of Alzheimer's prevalence.

The Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center research focuses on disease prevention, hoping someday to spare the living from Alzheimer's disease. Without such advances, the number of people with Alzheimer's in the U.S. is expected to increase to 13.8 million by 2050, the Alzheimer's Association estimates.

"Individuals who join the Latino Core study will be making an important contribution to our knowledge about Alzheimer's disease and the aging process of older Latino adults," said Marquez.

"Further, brain donation is a gift for our children and grandchildren who we hope will live full and long lives without Alzheimer's disease," added Dr. Marquez.
For more information about the study, contact study research coordinator Esmeralda Morales at 312-942-2260.

Rush University Medical Center

Related Dementia Articles:

Latest issue of Alzheimer's & Dementia
Predicting heart disease might also be a warning sign for Alzheimer's; A new way to think about the environment and Alzheimer's research; Most dementia patients don't receive care from physicians who specialize in brain health.
What multilingual nuns can tell us about dementia
A strong ability in languages may help reduce the risk of developing dementia, says a new University of Waterloo study.
Brain changes may help track dementia, even before diagnosis
Even before a dementia diagnosis, people with mild cognitive impairment may have different changes in the brain depending on what type of dementia they have, according to a study published in the September 11, 2019, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Could marriage stave off dementia?
Dementia and marital status could be linked, according to a new Michigan State University study that found married people are less likely to experience dementia as they age.
Migraine diagnoses positively associated with all-cause dementia
Several studies have recently focused on the association between migraine headaches and other headaches and dementia and found a positive migraine-dementia relationship.
Apathy: The forgotten symptom of dementia
Apathy is the most common neuropsychiatric symptom of dementia, with a bigger impact on function than memory loss -- yet it is under-researched and often forgotten in care.
Dementia looks different in brains of Hispanics
A major new study from the UC Davis Alzheimer's Center has uncovered dramatic differences in the brains of Hispanics with a dementia diagnosis compared with those of non-Hispanic whites and of African Americans.
No association between antiepileptic drug use and dementia
Epilepsy is a common neurological condition with a prevalence of around 2 percent.
Correlation of stroke and dementia with death: A study from the Swedish dementia registry
Patients who died of IS the most common type of dementia was vascular dementia while those died from other causes were most often diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia (AD).
Military risk factors for dementia
In recent years, there has been growing discussion to better understand the pathophysiological mechanisms of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder and how they may be linked to an increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease in veterans.
More Dementia News and Dementia Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.