Sunday, February 26, 2012

African Americans and Alzheimer's Disease

Currently, as many as 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. This devastating, deteriorating and debilitating disease is the ultimate thief — a thief of memories, thief of independence, thief of control, and ultimately, a thief of life.

Many Americans dismiss the warning signs of Alzheimer’s, believing that these symptoms are a part of normal aging. They are diagnosed too late and miss the opportunity to get the best care possible. This issue is of even greater concern for African-Americans, who are about two times more likely to have Alzheimer’s and other dementias than whites.

African-Americans have a higher rate of vascular disease (diseases involving blood vessels, including heart attack and stroke) – one of the suspected risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease. Often caused in part by poor nutritional habits and low physical activity levels, vascular disease may trigger cognitive decline.

To help reduce these risk factors and reverse the growing trend of Alzheimer’s disease among African-Americans, visit This Web portal from the Alzheimer’s Association offers tips on brain and heart health, summarizes the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s and suggests methods of stress relief for the African-American caregiver.


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