Columbus Memory Center to collab with communities to boost minorities data in Alzheimer’s research

Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 10:31 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A new report on Alzheimer’s shows that 19 percent of African Americans and 14 percent of Hispanic adults 65 and older suffer from the disease compared to 10 percent of White older adults.

Studies also show minorities are less likely to participate in clinical research.

“Clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease are not representative of the community as a whole,” said Dr. Leslie Holland with the Alzheimer’s Association.

The racial divide in the fight to find an Alzheimer’s cure for the recent FDA-approved Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm, shows only three percent of participants were Latino, and less than one percent were Black.

The Columbus Memory Center received a $150,000 grant to promote the safeguards, benefits, and honesty of today’s FDA-approved Alzheimer’s research trials, becoming the nation’s first dementia research center.

“In order to reach into communities and show the world how to better include minorities in research, this grant will go towards a number of different things. We are going to have four ask the memory Dr townhalls where we directly address the issues that are important to minority communities,” added Holland.

With ethics laws being put into place now and independent review boards when it comes to clinical trials, the Alzheimer’s Association says it’s essential to participate in clinical trials.

“If you are not represented in clinical trials and in research, then your community is not going to be represented, so the only way to affect change is to have data and to have statistics on how your specific community is affected,” explained Holland.

Columbus Memory Center will be collaborating with different community sectors in the coming months, providing multiple $5,000 grants to area churches and community centers that develop programs to help their memory-impaired members.

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