Saturday, August 6, 2022

Victims of racism are more likely to experience memory loss, the study finds

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People who experience racism are more likely to have memory problems later in life, a new study finds.

Findings from two studies conducted in the US suggest that past discriminatory events experienced by people of Black, Asian and ethnic backgrounds can have long-term effects on brain health in even the oldest in the population.

Following the unveiling of these research findings at the 2022 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in the US, the UK’s leading Alzheimer’s charity has called on the government to fulfill its promise to fund more dementia research.

Previous reviews show that blacks are at higher risk of dementia but less likely to receive a timely diagnosis due to multiple barriers in accessing healthcare.

dr Richard Oakley, associate research director of the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “What is shocking about these findings is that racism and discrimination not only have immediate effects on people from minority ethnic groups, but can also lead to long-lasting effects on brain health, increasing the likelihood.” memory and thinking problems that develop later in life.

“Of the 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK, 25,000 are from minority ethnic backgrounds. While these are American studies, it is clear that more needs to be done to support these communities in the UK as well.

“Everyone deserves appropriate care when facing the immense challenges of dementia, but we know that too many support services are not culture-aware and we have heard from people in these communities that this makes them feel unsupported and isolated.”

It’s been over two years since the UK government promised to deliver the Dementia Moonshot, which would double funding for dementia research to £166million a year over the next decade.

“There is an urgent need for research and investment in exploring the experiences of minority ethnic communities to ensure the development of more culturally appropriate services and resources,” added Dr. Oakley added.

“But for research like this to go ahead, the government must commit to its promise to double funding for dementia research.”

According to the Alzheimer’s Society, the number of blacks and Asians living with dementia is expected to double by 2026, with the steepest increases expected in South Asian communities.

These groups were also “woefully underrepresented” in the few research studies that were conducted.

The government has been asked for comment.

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