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Study dives into genetic risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia for diverse Latinx groups

Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) are degenerative brain diseases that affect over 5.8 million people in the U.S. Rates of ADRD are higher among Black and Latinx individuals compared to non-Latinx white individuals. APOE-ε4 is the strongest known genetic risk factor for ADRD , however this finding is largely based on studies of individuals of European descent. To better understand the association of the APOE gene with cognitive decline in Latinx populations, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and collaborators analyzed metrics of cognitive decline in six diverse Latinx populations: those of Cuban, Central American, Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican, and South American backgrounds. They found that the APOE-ε4 genetic variant was associated with risk of cognitive decline in Latinx populations, with the strongest effect among those of Cuban backgrounds. Findings are published in Alzheimer’s and Dementia.