February 1, 2021 – This Black History Month, the Alzheimer’s Association is emphasizing the importance of diversity in clinical trials. On Feb. 15, the organization will host “Creating a Path Forward: Advancements in Science,” a virtual presentation that will address the growing need for minority participation in dementia research with a particular focus on the New Imaging Dementia-Evidence for Amyloid Scanning (IDEAS) Study.

“The New IDEAS Study is a follow-up to the original IDEAS Study, which sought to determine the clinical usefulness and impact of amyloid PET imaging scans,” advised Keith Gibson, Alzheimer’s Association director of diversity, equity and inclusion in Florida. “The new study aims to answer those same questions but with a diverse population more representative of those living with Alzheimer’s than that of the first study.”

In addition to Gibson, one of the program’s featured guest speakers will be Peggye Dilworth-Anderson, Ph.D., professor of health policy and management at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health and principal investigator for recruitment for the New IDEAS Study. Other guest speakers will include Alzheimer’s community educator Tequesta Alston and Angela Hill, Pharm.D., associate dean of clinical affairs at the USF Health Taneja College of Pharmacy.

“Diversity in research is important,” Hill noted. “The diversity should be seen not only at the level of the research participant, but it should include the research team. This is essential in ensuring cultural sensitivities and allows for the reflection of those sensitivities from the protocol development to the recruitment and implementation phases.”

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, older Black Americans are not only twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease as their White counterparts, but they are also less likely to receive a diagnosis. Further, when they do get diagnosed, it is typically in the later stages of the disease, when their medical needs are greater.

“One thing these studies have shown us is that early diagnosis is crucial to ensuring better care planning and overall health outcomes,” Gibson said. “Our hope is that, with more accurate representation of the Alzheimer’s-affected population in clinical trials, we can further improve those health outcomes for every person living with the disease.”

“Creating a Path Forward: Advancements in Science” will begin at 12:30 p.m. EST, on Feb. 15. The program is free to attend. Register online, or call the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline at (800) 272-3900.

Alzheimer’s Association®

The Alzheimer’s Association is a worldwide voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to lead the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia – by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. Visit alz.org or call (800) 272-3900.