Investigating Regional and Ethnic Variations in Alzheimer Disease and Cognitive Health: Kumar B. Rajan, PhD


The professor in the department of internal medicine at RUSH Medical College discussed a study aimed to provide insights to help tailor cognitive decline prevention programs and raise awareness about health disparities in minority populations. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

“We're looking at a broad range of risk factors to see how they play a role in either areas of higher or lower prevalence of AD. If there are prevention programs that are aiming to reduce Alzheimer disease in these communities, they can focus on those factors in a way, helping people overcome those factors and thus, potentially reducing the community level for AD risk.”

Clinical trials are an essential tool to have a comprehensive understanding of the safety and efficacy of new treatments in diverse populations for neurological diseases such as Alzheimer disease (AD). Therefore, the recruitment of participants with AD from different ethnic and racial backgrounds is important to increase the generalizability of findings from clinical trials, making it more representative and inclusive.1 Currently, there are conversations in the AD community about recruitment initiatives to promote and increase participant diversity in trials for AD.

At the 2023 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, July 16 to July, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Kumar B. Rajan, PhD, professor in the department of internal medicine at RUSH Medical College, presented findings from a study that showed a higher estimated prevalence of AD in the East and Southeastern regions of the US.2 The study used cognitive data from the Chicago Health and Aging Project and the National Center for Health Statistics, which showed Miami-Dade County in Florida, Baltimore city in Maryland, and Bronx County in New York, as the top 3 counties with the highest prevalence of AD (each, 16.6%).

Recently, Rajan sat down in an interview with NeurologyLive® to talk about how regional and ethnic variations impact the risk of AD and cognitive health. He also spoke about the key risk factors that are being examined by the Reach Consortium, currently in the development process, in relation to AD. Additionally, Rajan explained how tailored prevention programs can help reduce AD risk in specific communities.

Click here for more coverage of AAIC 2023.

1. Raman R, Aisen PS, Carillo MC, et al. Tackling a Major Deficiency of Diversity in Alzheimer's Disease Therapeutic Trials: An CTAD Task Force Report. J Prev Alzheimers Dis. 2022;9(3):388-392. doi:10.14283/jpad.2022.50
2. Dhana K, Beck T, Desai P, et al. Prevalence of Alzheimer’s dementia in the 50 U.S. states and 3142 counties: A population estimate using the 2020 bridged-race postcensal from the National Center for Health Statistics. Presented at: 2022 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference; July 16 to July 20; Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Abstract 74430.
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