Alzheimer’s Research Center Focused on Hispanics Opens in Texas

New GAP-Net site El Faro Health and Therapeutics has opened in Rio Grande City, TX.

The below article was translated from Spanish to English. The original, Spanish version is linked at the bottom.

A new clinical research center to study Alzheimer’s and its impact among Hispanics, the group with the highest prevalence of this disease in the U.S., opened this past Saturday in the border city of Rio Grande, Texas.

With the opening of this research center, El Faro is also launching the first phase of a clinical study about the impact of this disease among Hispanics over the age of 65 residing in this border region, which has a population that is 97% Hispanic.

Doctor Tony Falcon, who developed this research center in collaboration with the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation, explained to EFE that this study will focus on senior Hispanics who speak both English and Spanish, a group that has been insufficiently studied.

“These clinical studies focused on the Hispanic population in Rio Grande will help us to better understand the health and risk factors of this specific group”, said Falcon, who also highlighted that the objective of this research project is to identify “ways to prevent and diagnose early-stage Alzheimer’s among Hispanics.”

Rio Grande is a city located on the banks of the Rio Bravo (as it’s known in northern Mexico), in Starr County, and a large proportion of its adult population speaks both languages, said Falcon.

The prevalence of Alzheimer’s among Hispanics in the United States has raised concerns among experts.

In 2018 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that by 2060 the total number of Hispanics above 65 years will quadruple, and Hispanics will face the largest increase in Alzheimer’s and associated dementia conditions of any ethnic/racial group in the country.

Given that aging is the main risk factor connected to Alzheimer’s disease, it is expected that there will be more Hispanics suffering from this condition in the coming years: roughly 3.5 million in the United States by 2060.

Falcon underscored that, beyond age, other factors can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s among Hispanics, including low socioeconomic status and a larger prevalence of medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and depression.

Hispanics also tend to develop symptoms at a younger age than Whites and other groups.

The doctor of Mexican heritage said he expects this first clinical study will open the way for other studies focused on the Hispanic community.

Originally posted by on November 13, 2021.

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