Why Alzheimer’s Affects Blacks Differently

Older Man looking out window

Alzheimer’s disease seems to develop differently in the brains of black patients than in whites. And, black people seem more likely to suffer different types of brain changes that also contribute to dementia, a new study reports.

Alzheimer’s disease dementia is generally associated with a build-up of substances known as plaques and tangles inside the brain. But, there are other brain changes that can also contribute to dementia, the study authors noted.

For example, the brains of people with dementia sometimes contain infarcts — tiny areas of dead tissue caused by micro-strokes, the researchers explained. They also might contain Lewy bodies — another form of abnormal protein build-up in the brain that’s usually associated with Parkinson’s disease.