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Ethnoracial Differences Found in Alzheimer Disease

Alzheimers Dement; ePub 2019 Feb 18; Santosa, et al

Despite a smaller sample size, Hispanics demonstrated longer disease duration with Alzheimer disease (AD), but not greater lifespan, according to a recent study. Furthermore, neuropathologic differences across ethnoracial groups supported differences in tau pathology distribution and coexisting hippocampal sclerosis, which may impact biomarker studies. A retrospective study was conducted in the FLorida Autopsied Multi-Ethnic cohort on 1,625 AD cases, including decedents who self-reported as Hispanic/Latino (n=67), black/African American (n=19), and white/European American (n=1,539). Researchers found:

  • Hispanic decedents had a higher frequency of family history of cognitive impairment (58%), an earlier age at onset (median age 70 years), longer disease duration (median of 12 years), and lower Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) proximal to death (median of 4 points) compared with the other ethnoracial groups.
  • Black decedents had a lower Braak tangle stage (stage V) and higher frequency of coexisting hippocampal sclerosis (21%); however, only hippocampal sclerosis differences survived adjustment for sex, age at onset, and disease duration.
  • Neither Thal amyloid phase nor coexisting Lewy body disease differed across ethnoracial groups.
Citation:

Santosa OA, Pedraza O, Lucas JA, et al. Ethnoracial differences in Alzheimer's disease from the FLorida Autopsied Multi-Ethnic (FLAME) cohort. [Published online ahead of print February 18, 2019]. Alzheimers Dement. doi:10.1016/j.jalz.2018.12.013.