Thomas Jefferson University Research Magazine



African Americans are at nearly twice the risk as Caucasians for developing Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Yet, no interventions have been shown to reduce this disparity.

Barry Rovner, MD, professor of psychiatry, neurology and ophthalmology, and a clinical expert in Alzheimer’s disease, has been intensely studying racial-based disparities in the incidence and outcomes of dementia. In one notable study, he and Robin Casten, PhD, professor of psychiatry, found that African Americans were less likely than whites to recognize cognitive decline as a medical problem. Those findings suggested that culturally specific interventions might help reduce African Americans’ risk for developing dementia.