ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Six million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias but research shows that African Americans are more at-risk for developing the disease.
Dr. Thomas Obisesan, Professor of Medicine at Howard University, says limited access to care and underrepresentation in clinical trials has led to the problem.
He says cardiovascular disease, hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes may also increase a person’s risk for developing dementia, along with isolation so he encourages lifestyle changes, especially for people who have a higher risk of developing dementia.
“Such as aerobic exercise, crossword puzzles and engaging in learning new skills, and getting together with family and friends to socially engage.” Dr. Obisesan explains, “the more you interact with people, the more likely you are going to keep your neurons active and prevent degradation.”
If you have concerns about a loved one’s memory, he says to be aware of symptoms including “getting lost in familiar places, forgetting names, forgetting appointments, difficulty finding words or misplacing things.”
Right now, the National Institutes of Health is funding the “Ahead Study.” It’s a trial aimed to prevent Alzheimer’s disease by investigating treatments that can slow or stop the earliest brain changes in people who have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
Researchers need people from every race, between the ages of 55 to 80, who don’t have symptoms of dementia. For more information, visit AHEAD Alzheimer's Disease Clinical Trial | The AHEAD Study.