Dementia Research in Multicultural Communities: James E. Galvin, MD, MPH


The director of the Comprehensive Center for Brain Health at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine discussed projects dedicated towards improving dementia recognition and care within multicultural communities.

"We need to figure out how we take our tools out into the communities, rather than expecting the communities to show up at our doorstep.”

Numerous studies have documented differences in dementia prevalence among racial and ethnic groups in the US. African Americans and Hispanics have been found to have a higher risk of dementia compared to whites across studies despite differences in designs, sampling methods, and definitions of dementia. These differences may be a product of biological, behavioral, sociocultural, and environmental factors including socioeconomic determinants such as education, income, occupation, wealth, and access to health care.

Understanding and researching these differences may aid in the development of interventions, therapeutics, and public policy. A recently awarded 5-year, $13 million grant to James E. Galvin, MD, MPH, director, Comprehensive Center for Brain Health, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, will be used to conduct a series of studies that aim to increase accuracy of early diagnosis, develop therapeutic targets, and improve health outcomes in patients with Alzheimer disease and related dementias With the grant, Galvin hopes to create a screening model that will follow a “healthy body, healthy mind,” approach to make the concept of mild cognitive impairment and ADRD screening more acceptable to diverse populations.

In an interview with NeurologyLive, Galvin detailed the projects entailed with the grant. He stressed that there are a number of factors, including higher blood pressure, that impact prevalence of dementia among individuals within rural and multicultural communities that need to be more-often identified.

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