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  1. Ethical Science News

  2. Sep 2, 2021

Improving Racial Representation in Alzheimer’s Disease Research

Study in a Sentence: Using a proactive recruitment strategy, an Alzheimer’s research study successfully achieved high participation rates from older African American adults, a previously underrepresented population.

Healthy for Humans: Alzheimer’s disease disproportionally affects African Americans compared to non-Latinx Whites. Understanding the causes and characteristics of this disparate burden requires the inclusion of older African American adults in research, but Alzheimer’s studies repeatedly fail to adequately represent patient populations. 

Redefining Research: This study aimed to understand barriers to inclusion and to describe a successful recruitment and retention strategy to increase participation from older African American adults in Alzheimer’s research. The strategy described, which utilized dedicated staff, interpersonal caring, and culturally tailored engagement, resulted in successful brain donation enrollment and procurement and demonstrated a viable approach for improving equitable human-based Alzheimer’s research.  


Gamboa CJ and Julion WA. Proactive Recruitment of Older African-Americans for Alzheimer’s Research with Brain Donation: a Cohort Case Study of Success. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. 2021;8:463–474.

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