Through September and October, we have been celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. The issue of brain health and brain health research is an important one for the Latino community, since there is growing evidence that Latinos may be at higher risk for some brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
A report conducted by the Institute of Aging at the University of Southern California in 2018, projected that there will be 21.5 million Latinos affected by Alzheimer’s disease by 2060. In fact, according to this study and others, Latinos may be 50% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than their white non-Latino counterparts.
Why might this be?
The Alzheimer’s Association 2019 “Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures” report discusses several possibilities, including variations in health, lifestyle and socioeconomic risk factors. For example, conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, which put people at an increased risk for Alzheimer’s and other dementias, are more common in Latinos. Socioeconomic factors such as greater exposure to adversity and discrimination may also put Latinos at higher risk. As the Brain Health Registry grows, we are seeking out new ways of connecting with a diverse group of research partners, participants, and studies that have the potential to address the health disparities described above.
You can be a part of the solution, no matter who you are, by joining and continuing your participating in our research.
Through your participation, you are helping to build an enormous amount of data that can be used in determining the causes and potential treatments for this growing epidemic.