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Alzheimer’s researchers seek African Americans for clinical trial

Susumu Komatsu

A study looking into ways to reduce the plaque that causes Alzheimer’s disease, wants to attract more African American participants. The clinical trial is taking place in Rochester, Buffalo, and several locations near New York City.

African Americans are twice as likely as Caucasians to develop Alzheimer’s disease. University of Rochester Medical Center Dr. Anton Porsteinsson says medical researchers don’t exactly know why.

"When it comes to Alzheimer’s disease there appears to be a higher prevalence in African American communities and Hispanic communities.  We think it may have something to do with vascular risk factors and diabetes, but there may be other elements to it," said Porsteinsson.

URMC is part of a national investigation is testing a drug to slow the progression of memory loss by removing the buildup of Amyloid protein in the brain.

Stephanie Monroe, the director of African Americans Against Alzheimer’s says it's important to try to get minorities into the trial.

"We’re really trying to encourage African Americans to participate in clinical trials. We are way underrepresented in clinical trials despite being over-represented in the actual underlying disease."

In New York state, 380,000 people have the disease. Over the next ten years the cases of Alzheimer’s are expected to rise by 64 percent. 

For more information about the A4study call 585-760-6550