Frequently Asked Questions

Participation in these studies will not affect your medical coverage or any other benefit received by the government.

By participating in research studies, African Americans and Hispanic/Latinos can help scientists understand more about the genetic causes of Alzheimer’s disease and ensure that when new treatments are developed they will be able to benefit from these groundbreaking discoveries.

There is NO cost to participate.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia (severe memory loss) in the elderly. Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias affects approximately fifty-five million people worldwide with 6.7 million in the United States. Alzheimer’s disease affects parts of the brain that control memory, thinking, language and judgement.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease; however, there is medicine available that can temporarily reduce the symptoms. Support is also available to help someone with the condition, and their family, cope with everyday life.

Doctors diagnose Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia based on a thorough medical history, physical examination and laboratory tests. The evaluation also includes an assessment of the characteristic changes in thinking, day-to-day function, and behavior associated with each type of change. Doctors can determine that a person has dementia with a high level of certainty.

  • Memory loss that affects daily life.
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems.
  • Difficulty doing things that were familiar to you.
  • Confusion with time or place.
  • Trouble understanding pictures and images.
  • Problems finding the right words when speaking or writing.
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace your steps.
  • Decreased or poor judgement.
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities.
  • Changes in mood and personality.

DAWN Alzheimer’s Research focuses on understanding the genetic causes of Alzheimer’s disease in individuals of African ancestry (both in the US and Africa) and individuals of Hispanic/Latino origin to identify new preventions and treatments.

African American, African and Hispanic/Latino individuals have not been represented in research on Alzheimer’s disease. DAWN seeks to change that and include African American, African, and Hispanic/Latino individuals in ongoing research. This will help ensure that new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease will benefit individuals from all backgrounds.

  • Individuals with a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
  • African American and Hispanic/Latino individuals over the age of 65 without memory problems.
  • Families that have 2 or more members with Alzheimer’s disease, both of whom are willing to participate in the study and any of their brothers and sisters who do not have Alzheimer’s disease and are willing to participate.
  • Individuals of any age with memory problems.
  • Individuals with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
  • Read and sign a consent form.
  • Give a family and medical history.
  • Answer a short environmental risk factor questionnaire.
  • Take tests of memory, thinking, mood and concentration.
  • Complete a brief neurological examination.
  • Give permission to review the medical records of the individual with memory and
    thinking problems.
  • Provide a blood sample.
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