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Lose the Weight in '18

Alzheimer’s is more devastating and more prevalent among Black Americans than White Americans. Blacks are at an increased risk of developing the disease, have more of the risk factors, and the disease arises at an earlier age and with greater severity. Blacks are two times more likely to develop late-onset Alzheimer’s.

Most researchers point to vascular disorders such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity as contributing factors. There is also mounting evidence that socioeconomic factors such as poverty, neighborhood conditions, health behavior, early childhood trauma, educational attainment and the experiences of discrimination in general play a major role. The role of genetics is not well understood. Even though Alzheimer’s disease is a universal disease, current knowledge of its risk factors, progression and treatment have been based, almost entirely, on studies from non-Hispanic White populations. This lack of cross-cultural research and data have made it difficult for Blacks to completely understand risk factors and to determine effective treatment measures.

One of the best ways to manage Alzheimer's is to know its warning signs. Many people may perceive forgetfulness as another part of aging, but memory loss that disrupts daily life can signal Alzheimer’s. Confusion or difficulty with familiar tasks, places, and people can also be a warning sign. Please see a doctor if you or someone you love has repeatedly displayed this behavior. Early diagnosis can give you an early start on developing an effective treatment plan.

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