UC Davis Awarded $14 million to lead Alzheimer’s Disease Study in Latinos
In August, the University of California was awarded a nearly $14.7 million multi-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to study contributors to dementia in the Latino population in the United States. The multicenter study will examine the biological underpinnings of stroke, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease among Hispanics. The study will pursue new therapeutic directions to reduce brain health disparities. Co-principal investigator Charles S. DeCarli, director of the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center, stated:
This is the largest study of Latinos with cognitive impairment ever done. Latinos are the fastest-growing minority population in our aging population, so cognitive impairment in this group is an important public health concern.
UC Davis and nine other institutions across the country will participate in the research, with the investigators drawing from the more than 16,000-patient cohort of the ongoing Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, a multicenter epidemiologic study primarily focused on cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. According to DeCarli, the Latino population is especially important to study in the field of dementia because they have a higher prevalence of diabetes, hypertension and obesity compared to non-Hispanic Caucasians, all risk factors for stroke and dementia. Rates of Alzheimer’s disease are about 1.5 times higher than in white non-Hispanics. The study will make use of leading-edge magnetic resonance imaging techniques, which can help assess vascular brain injury and patterns of atrophy seen in Alzheimer’s disease. MRIs will be acquired at the partnering institutions and evaluated at UCD. Hopefully, the research leads to some much needed breakthroughs in dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and as a reminder, it is important to go get regular checkups with a doctor to try and prevent further health issues as you age.