African Americans and Alzheimer’s Disease Research

Several BU ADC sponsored research projects have a special focus on African American issues.  Approximately 20% of participants in the Center’s research registry, also known as the Health Outreach Program for the Elderly (HOPE) study (Neil Kowall, PI), are Black or African-American.

The BU ADC’s Pilot Grant Program previously funded the Exercise & Cognition project, a study evaluating the potential benefits of an exercise program for older residents within the Boston Housing Authority.  Community Action Council co-founder and member Alfred Davis directs the exercise program and serves as a co-investigator on the research project.  In 2008, Mr. Davis received the prestigious Community Health Leader Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for developing outstanding community.

The MIRAGE study (Lindsay Farrer, PI) is a large genetic epidemiology project that was funded by NIH for nearly two decades.  Helped in large part by a strong collaboration with Morehouse School of Medicine, the MIRAGE team has enrolled over 300 African American families in the project since its inception.

Past research efforts include the Treatment and Illness Perceptions Study, funded by the national Alzheimer’s Association, which examined knowledge and beliefs about AD among approximately 150 African American caregivers and relatives.