Alzheimer's Disease Center
University of California, Davis
The Family Connection
Dementia Study Targets Latinos
The National Institute on Aging has awarded Dr. Mary Haan, UC Davis Director of the Center for Aging and Health, a $2.3 million grant to study 2,000 Latino elderly in the Sacramento region. Co-investigators include, Drs. William Jagust and Dan Mungas from Neurology.
The Sacramento Area Latino Study on Aging (SALSA) will focus on physical and cognitive impairments as well as dementia in area Latinos, 60 years and older. Specifically, the study will examine the effects of hypertension, diabetes, and other cardiovascular risk factors on the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. Participants in the study will be followed for up to five years.
"Our preliminary work in this area suggests that diabetes is very underdiagnosed in this population and that it can contribute to the development of cognitive impairment," says Dr. Mary Haan, Principle Investigator. Latino elderly are the fastest growing group in California, growing at a rate 4-5 times faster than other groups, including Anglos.
Individuals who join the study will be
visited at home where they will receive screening for diabetes,
measurement of blood pressure, blood tests for lipids, physical and
cognitive performance tests. Dr. Mungas has developed a set of
psychometrically-matched neuropsychological tests in Spanish and
English which will be used in cases where dementia is suspected.
Currently a job search is underway to hire a Project Director for the study. A staff of 25 will then be assembled and a Community Advisory Board established to make recommendations on strategies for recruitment, retention and community relations throughout the study. Individuals from select areas in the greater Sacramento area will be invited to participate beginning January 1, 1998.