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  1. News Release

  2. Jul 16, 2019

Doctors and Scientists Launch Inaugural Workshop To Address Health Disparities in Alzheimer’s

Speakers Call for Human-Based Research Methods To Better Represent Alzheimer’s Patient Population

LOS ANGELES—Researchers, clinicians, advocates, and funders assembled for a roundtable discussion on preclinical strategies to reduce health disparities in dementia research Monday evening at the JW Marriott Los Angeles. An ancillary event to the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, the roundtable focused on diversity and representation in research and included a discussion about the failure of animal models to represent human diversity elements, particularly in preclinical science. 

Although African Americans are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease when compared to non-Hispanic whites, and Latinos are 1.5 times more likely to develop the disease, both groups are significantly underrepresented in preclinical and clinical studies. Roundtable attendees brainstormed ways to address systemic bias so that diversity is addressed by Alzheimer’s research as a matter of course.

Human-based preclinical approaches such as genetic analyses, patient-derived cell culture, biospecimen studies, computational modeling, epidemiology, and digital markers for life course studies, combined with addressing oft-ignored biases, can provide greater insights for the prevention and treatment of dementia for diverse communities, as well as contribute to the development personalized medicine for all.

“Human-based research approaches, which are, by definition, applicable to human health, can begin to address health disparities in ways that just aren’t possible with animal experiments,” said Ann Lam, PhD, medical research program director for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

The event was organized by the Physicians Committee, Green Neuroscience Laboratory, NeuroLinx Research Institute, and The Brain Observatory. 

To speak with Dr. Lam, contact Reina Pohl at 202-527-7326 or

Media Contact

Reina Pohl, MPH


Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in education and research.

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