Initiative Brings Inclusive Research to Community with High Incidence of Alzheimer’s

Washington, DC, Sept. 27, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative (DAC), the organization leading an unprecedented global response to Alzheimer’s disease,was featured on the NBC TODAY Show for bringing much-needed research to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, an area with one of the highest incidences of Alzheimer’s in the nation. Click here to see the segment. 

 “For too long, Alzheimer’s research has excluded populations most in need of support,” said George Vradenburg, Founding Chairman of the Board, Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative. “DAC’s Rio Grande research program will bring generations of families into this study, uniting communities to end Alzheimer’s. This is critical because today, we understand that the factors that increase risk for Alzheimer’s begin early and then increase over the course of our lives—so by inviting grandparents, parents, grandchildren—we can get answers and promote brain health—long before there is a diagnosis.”

The segment was reported by NBC and MSNBC Weekend Anchor, bestselling author, and filmmaker, Richard Lui, who is also a longtime Alzheimer’s advocate with personal experience caregiving for his father with Alzheimer’s. 

 So far, patients have participated in clinical trials at El Faro Health and Therapeutics and DAC is preparing to launch the long-term research with El Faro to follow impacts of the disease and improve outcomes. The study is led by Dr. Rhoda Au, Director of the Global Cohort Development Program of the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative, which aims to build a cohort of one million diverse people. Dr. Au works to promote brain health, similar to steps protecting heart health.  

 DAC’s work with the El Faro Health and Therapeutics clinic builds on the foundational work the National Institute of Aging (NIA) is doing to fund research with diverse populations, since research has focused largely on patients of White European ancestry and excluded people who are Hispanic, Black, and other populations of color. So far, DAC has brought together 130,000 people from 16 countries to participate in long-term genetic studies. 

 The Rio Grande Program is a research initiative supporting Starr County, the county with the highest proportion (97.7%) of Hispanics in the continental U.S. and one of the highest prevalence of Alzheimer’s in the nation (25%). With more than 50 percent of its population living below the poverty line and limited means to offer treatment or therapeutics for members of the community with Alzheimer’s, the Rio Grande Program addresses both a lack of diversity in research and offers critical resources. 

 About the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative

Launched at the World Economic Forum’s 2021 meeting on The Davos Agenda, DAC is a multi-stakeholder partnership committed to aligning stakeholders with a new vision for our collective global response against the challenges that Alzheimer’s presents to patients, caregivers and health care infrastructures. Convened by the World Economic Forum and the Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease (CEOi), and fueled by a mission of service to the estimated 150 million families and half a billion people inevitably impacted by this disease by 2050, DAC is a collaborative for the benefit of all people, in all places.