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As much as you hear about High Blood Pressure and Diabetes on the rise in the African-American community, hearing about someone being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is becoming more frequent.   It is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States.  Alzheimer’s Disease is a brain disorder that destroys brain cells and causes memory loss and can result in disrupting your life and be progressively fatal.   It affects over 5 million Americans and is the most common form of dementia.  Fifty to Eighty percent of dementia cases are accounted by Alzheimer’s. African-Americans are at a greater risk to developing Alzheimer’s disease than other races.  It is suspected because of  the higher rate of vascular disease (diseases involving blood vessels, including heart attack and stoke) is a major factor that makes the African-American rate higher than other populations.

A new study by the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative Grand Opportunity (ADNI GO) was recently announced.  The study will focus on ways to protect the African-American community and research why this disease is hitting this particular race so hard.  The study will focus for the first time on African-Americans who have experienced early complaints of memory problems that affect their daily activities.   The Initiative will strive to identify biomarkers that can help build a better understanding of the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease.   The 2 year, $24 million dollar study is being funded by the National Institute of Aging (NIA) at the National Institute of Health (NIH).

Dr.  Maya Angelou is lending her support of the new study.  She is working with the researchers and encouraging African-Americans to participate in the study in order to ensure people of color are appropriately included in the study.

If you would like to participate in the ADNI GO study click here for more information.

Related Articles on Alzheimer’s Disease:

Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller– African-American Contributor to Alzheimer’s disease(Nation’s First Black Psychiatrist)

New Alzheimer’s Study Seek To Find Earliest Clues To Disease Progression

African-Americans twice as likely as whites to get Alzheimer’s

Living with Alzheimer’s