Mexican-Americans could see cognitive impairment 10 years before others: study

January 6, 2014
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Mild cognitive impairment could begin up to a decade earlier in Mexican-Americans than in non-Hispanic people, according to new research published in Alzheimer’s and Dementia, the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. More research is needed to confirm the study’s findings, but ultimately, the information could lead to the identification and treatment of mild cognitive impartment in Mexican-Americans at an earlier stage.

Lead author Sid O’Bryant, PhD, and co-authors studied more than 1,600 participants in two ongoing trials related to cognitive aging and Alzheimer’s disease. In the Mexican-American participants (626), advancing age was the only significant risk factor for mild cognitive impairment.

O’Bryant is associate professor and interim director of the Institute for Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Other researchers came from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, and the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Hispanic people may be 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanic white people to develop Alzheimer’s disease, but the disease often is diagnosed later.

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