Stress Of Poverty, Racial Inequities May Raise Risk For Alzheimer's Disease

Stress Of Poverty, Racial Inequities May Raise Risk For Alzheimer's Disease

Stress Of Poverty, Racial Inequities May Raise Risk For Alzheimer's Disease

In their case, each stressful event was equivalent to approximately four years of cognitive ageing.

"There is a growing realisation that events and experiences throughout life can impact the brain decades later and researchers must take a whole lifespan approach to understanding brain health in later life".

The tests examined several areas including four memory scores - immediate memory; verbal learning and memory; visual learning and memory; and story recall.

The average age of the subjects' was 58 years and included 1,232 white Americans and 82 African Americans. Researchers have found that African Americans experience 60 percent more stressful events compared with white people during their lifetimes.

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The results were scheduled for presentation Sunday at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in London.

"We presented research that actually tells us that African Americans-even into their 90's-are still one-and-a-half times more at risk than their counterparts and additionally, this may be attributable to living in disadvantaged neighborhoods or increased stressful life experiences", Maria Carrillo, Ph.D., chief science officer at the Alzheimer's Association (ALZ) tells FOX Business. But studies looking at both white and African-American people with those conditions still showed racial disparities, indicating there was something missing from the puzzle.

"These studies were done with United States data, but they add weight to the global body of evidence around disadvantage and dementia risk, which is an issue governments around the world grapple with, and one that requires coordinated action", said Alzheimer's Association chief scientist Maria Carrillo.

"Studying the role of stress is complex".

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Dr Laura Phipps, from Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "There is compelling research showing married people generally live longer and enjoy better health, with many different factors likely to be contributing to that link".

Researchers say the next key challenge is to roll the programme to the 28,000 care homes in the United Kingdom to benefit the lives of the 300,000 people with dementia living in these facilities.

Doug Brown, Director of Research for Alzheimer's Society, said that 70% of people living in care homes have dementia, so it is vital that staff have the right training to provide good quality dementia care.

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