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Differences in Clinical Aspects of Dementia in Various Ethnic Groups

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WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 /U.S. Newswire/ — Alzheimer’s disease and

other types of dementia represent a significant medical disorder

that is increasing among numbers in the elderly. There are,

however, conflicting data that suggest that African-American

patients have higher rates of dementia than their white

counterparts.

In the January issue of the Journal of the National Medical

Association (JNMA), Rita Hargrove et al examined the difference in

dementia in African- American, Hispanic, and white patients. The

researchers studied and evaluated 1,573 patients at the Northern

California Alzhiemer’s Disease Centers. All patients and

caregivers underwent structured diagnostic interviews to determine

demographic factors and symptoms of dementia.

Hargrove et al found there are indeed ethnic differences among

blacks/Hispanics and whites in functional impairment in AD and

mixed dementia. Although, there was no difference in severity of

functional impairment among black and Hispanics, there was a

difference in functional impairment in whites with AD and mixed

dementia.

The investigators suggest that future cross-cultural studies of

dementia be explored to determine whether ethnic group differences

are based on the interaction of cultural differences; effects of

age, education, psychosocial variables and biological differences

during the course of dementia.

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