U.S. flag An official website of the United States government
  1. Home
  2. For Consumers
  3. Consumer Information by Audience
  4. Minority Health and Health Equity
  5. African Americans and Alzheimer's Disease
  1. Consumer Information by Audience

African Americans and Alzheimer's Disease

African Americans and Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer’s disease in African Americans: Comparisons of biomarkers of inflammation in human tissues

Principal Investigator: Sherry A. Ferguson, Ph.D.
FDA Center: National Center for Toxicological Research, FDA (2014)


Why It’s Important

African Americans have a higher prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and more severe consequences of the disease. If researchers can identify the biomarkers that Alzheimer’s inflames that are specific to African Americans, health providers could diagnose Alzheimer’s earlier and more accurately. They could also develop more therapies that are more effective for this population.


About the Project

Neuro-inflammation is thought to play a significant role in Alzheimer’s Disease. Therefore, researchers measured the levels of inflammation in a specific brain region in African Americans and European Americans to determine if inflammation varies by race and ethnicity. They found that increased levels of a certain brain chemical could contribute to more severe disease in African Americans.


Increased Cytokine Levels in BA21 Brain Region of African Americans Relative to Caucasians with Alzheimer's Disease

African Americans Alzheimers poster

Increased Cytokine Levels in BA21 Brain Region of African Americans Relative to Caucasians with Alzheimer's Disease PDF

Manuscript: Neurodegenerative Markers are Increased in Post-Mortem BA21 Tissue from African Americans with Alzheimer’s disease