Alzheimer Disease and Diversity

Alzheimer Disease and Diversity

“Studying diverse populations provides a unique opportunity to discover novel targets and pathways as well as to ensure that all groups benefit from the research.” Dr. Margaret A Pericak-Vance.

The HIHG is committed to understanding the effect of sex and race/ethnicity on Alzheimer disease risk. HIHG research projects are multi-ethnic projects dedicated to addressing health disparities across populations. Our researchers work with individuals from diverse and often underserved groups in medical research both in the United States and globally, The HIHG focuses on the inclusion in their Alzheimer disease research of ethnically diverse populations for AD. We know that there are genetic differences across ethnic and racial groups with different genes contributing to risk for AD. Development of therapies and interventions will be based on genetic findings. Most studies to date have been in Non-Hispanic white populations with AD. In order to narrow the gap across groups the HIHG focuses their research on all populations with particular emphasis on diverse groups such as those in the Hispanic/Latino and African American populations because they are underrepresented in AD genetic research. By including Hispanic/Latino and African descent populations we can ensure that the findings of genetic studies on AD and the subsequent development of treatments extend to all human populations. The participation of diverse populations in research efforts is critical to the success of precision medicine, as genetic variation and risk/protective effects in one population may not be present in other populations. Ethnic specific genetic factors and the effects of these genetic differences vary between populations.