Brain Effects of Lifetime Racial/Ethnic Discrimination on the LC-NE Function and the Risk for Alzheimer's Disease

Brief description of study

The purpose of our study is to understand how the effects of stress, induced by social factors such as racial discrimination, contribute to an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease among African Americans. When compared to whites, African Americans are at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease. These differences may be due to social and biological stressors; such as discrimination. One of the major systems in our body that plays a big role in how our body responds to stress is the Brain-Norepinephrine (NE) system. This system is involved in the body’s response to an event seen as stressful or frightening. Continuous stress can cause short-term effects on the Brain-NE system, with reduced ability to concentrate and long-term effects resulting in memory loss. Therefore, the researchers are recruiting black and white individuals to undergo memory testing and brain imaging to further study the differences in how the brain works between the two groups.

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