First Study of Alzheimer’s in Fort Worth Mexican-American Population

Article ID: 600290

Released: 13-Mar-2013 12:25 PM EDT

Source Newsroom: UNT Health Science Center

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Newswise — FORT WORTH, Texas --- Hispanics are the fastest growing population in the U.S. as well as the fastest growing segment of the aging population --- especially in Texas. The slight research available suggests that Hispanics may be at increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease and may even develop the disease at younger ages; however, there has been little research regarding how Alzheimer’s may impact Mexican Americans differently. Research at UNT Health Science Center suggests that depression and diabetes may be of particular importance in this population and even that the blood profile of Alzheimer’s is different among Mexican Americans as compared to non-Hispanic whites.

Sid O’Bryant, PhD, associate professor of internal medicine, is the first to study how physical, mental, environmental and cognitive factors contribute to the health of Mexican American elders in the Fort Worth area with his ground-breaking Health & Aging Brain among Latino Elders (HABLE) study. The HABLE study seeks to understand aging (healthy and unhealthy) among Mexican Americans. Hispanics who participate in the study may be asked to undergo an interview, cognitive testing, and a medical examination as well as provide a blood and/or urine sample. Participants receive information from their participation and are paid for their time. It is hoped that the HABLE study will improve the health of Hispanics/Mexican Americans who call Ft. Worth and North Texas home.

UNT Health Science Center The UNT Health Science Center comprises the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, School of Health Professions and the UNT System College of Pharmacy (opening in fall 2013). Key areas of inter-professional strength include aging and Alzheimer’s disease, applied genetics, primary care and prevention.