Study finds Alzheimer’s has strong impact on Latino Americans

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and UC San Francisco have found that Alzheimer’s strongly affects Latino Americans, who tend to get the condition almost seven years earlier than white Americans.

The Alzheimer’s Association told the Los Angeles Times that the situation is “a looming but unrecognized public health crisis.”

The association predicted that Alzheimer’s and related dementias could afflict 1.3 million older Latinos by 2050, a 200,000 increase from those currently affected.

Additionally, other experts also told the Times that limited access to medical care and health insurance, lower levels of education and income and higher rates of high blood pressure and diabetes contribute to the above-average risks of Latinos with Alzheimer’s.

Researchers said treating Alzheimer’s is also very difficult since cognitive lapses of treatable medical issues, including depression, thyroid problems and the side effects of medication can occur, according to Freddy Ortiz, coordinator of the memory disorders clinic at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center.

Although research has shown that medication cannot reverse Alzheimer’s, services such as adult daycare and drugs that offer short-term relief of symptoms can help those dealing with Alzheimer’s.