Insights on Addressing Disparities in Alzheimer Disease Research: Renã A. S. Robinson, PhD


The full professor of chemistry at Vanderbilt University talked about research surrounding racial and ethnic disparities in Alzheimer disease incidence. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

“I think if you put people first—and really value that—then that can help guide the more complexities of the research that we're designing and that we're doing on a daily basis.”

In Alzheimer disease (AD) clinical research, insufficient enrollment of patients from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds is a consistent challenge. The underrepresentation of minority patients in AD research is an issue because there is need for racially and ethnically representative samples to ensure findings are generalizable to the whole AD population. Also, sufficient enrollment of patients from historically underrepresented and minoritized groups is essential for understanding and combating cognitive health disparities effectively.1

Renã A. S. Robinson, PhD, presented on the molecular basis of racial and ethnic disparities in aging and AD in the frontiers in neuroscience plenary session at the 2024 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting, held April 13-18, in Denver, Colorado. The plenary session featured basic and translational research related to clinical issues of importance from 6 speakers, including Robinson, who summarized their recent research and dove into the clinical implications of their results.

Robinson, a full professor of chemistry at Vanderbilt University and the Dorothy J. Wingfield Phillips Chair, sat down with NeurologyLive® at the meeting to discuss how racial and ethnic disparities manifest in the incidence of AD. She also spoke about the key considerations for inclusive study designs in Alzheimer research and why community engagement is important for addressing disparities in AD.

Click here for more coverage of AAN 2024.

1. Lingler JH, Ren D, Tamres LK, et al. Mechanisms by Which Cultural-Centric Narrative Influences Interest in ADRD Research Among African American Adults. Gerontologist. 2023;63(6):1060-1066. doi:10.1093/geront/gnac179
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