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Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2002;16 Suppl 2:S96-S100.

Research agenda for understanding Alzheimer disease in diverse populations: work group on cultural diversity, Alzheimer's association.

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Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98104-2499, USA.


The emerging evidence of ethnic variations in apolipoprotein polymorphism and Alzheimer disease risk shows that one cannot generalize findings based on a single cultural group too broadly ( Tang et al., 2001). Presence of one apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 allele is a stronger risk factor for Alzheimer disease in whites and Asians than in blacks ( Farrer et al., 1997). Environmental or genetic cofactors may modulate the effects of epsilon 4 on beta-amyloid metabolism differently in different subpopulations ( Shadlen, 1998). Recognizing this, the Alzheimer's Association has extended its goals to strengthen the scientific information base on the interactions of population diversity and Alzheimer disease heterogeneity ( NIA, 1998). This new focus is timely since minority elderly are the most rapidly increasing segment of the elderly population ( Lilienfeld and Perl, 1994, Brookmeyer et al., 1998). In this article, the authors highlight recent progress in research on Alzheimer disease among culturally diverse populations with a special emphasis on gaps in the knowledge base. The authors recommend four priorities for future Alzheimer disease research: (1) determine whether genetic causative factors interact differently in different populations; (2) reexamine the nature and role of cerebral ischemia and infarction and variations in symptom severity of Alzheimer disease; (3) explore the interaction of genes and environmental influences that are protective against Alzheimer disease; and (4) recruit and enroll ethnically diverse subjects in Alzheimer disease clinical trials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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