Home Alzheimer's and Dementia Why Latinos Hesitate on Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials

Why Latinos Hesitate on Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials

Alzheimer's clinical trials

Courtesy of Athira Pharma, Psychiatrist and Medical Director Bernardo Ng of the Sun Valley Research Center joins Suzanne to talk about why Latinos are often hesitant to participate in Alzheimer’s clinical trials.

Dr. Ng says, “We were talking about access earlier on, and that’s one of the things that we’re trying to overcome, by settling in an area that has little services. Other highly populated Hispanic areas may not have clinical sites like that.

“The other one is certainly the stigma that we have talked about. The fear of, or just the thought of, being a subject in the research trial, because that sounds wrong or sounds fishy.

“And the other one is the denial, or fear of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Many people prefer to say that is normal aging, and a normal dementia for older people, which for years now, we know that that term does not exist anymore. I try to compare it with conditions like osteoporosis. You know, the bones become thin, it’s normal that they become thin. Now, there is a point when the bones are just too thin, that’s not normal, and requires treatment, because it carries health risks. So the same thing, being not able to memorize things, or to speak. Well, that’s manifestations of the deterioration of the brain, and that’s illness, and we call it Alzheimer’s.”

“I think [eventually] society is gonna look at this a different way. It’s not such a sentence now for, you know, people with cancer, right? Especially, for example, with breast cancer. The progress has been humongous. So I look forward to the day we’re gonna get there with Alzheimer’s.”

But there is a health care gap. Dr. Ng says, “The community I’m at is very peculiar, because it is 80% Latino, so it’s very hard to compare how faster are the other 20% services. But I can tell you that a lot of these people that we’re talking about don’t have private insurance. Some of them are Medicare and Medicaid, and getting approved for surgery, for example for a knee replacement, they have to wait four or six months to get approved. I can’t imagine now, with these antibody treatments that we have, how long it’s gonna be to even get them approved. Which underscores the greater opportunity that it is to participate in a clinical trial, and will be sooner and faster than getting one of the approved treatments.”

Contact the Sun Valley Research Center in southern California at (760) 545-0123.

Learn more:
* Sun Valley Research Center: https://sunvalleyb.com/
* Athira Pharma: https://www.athira.com/
* Bernardo Ng: https://sunvalleyr.com/ourteam/bernardo-ng-md/
* Hear more Alzheimer’s-related podcasts from Athira Pharma: https://answersforelders.com/athira-pharma/

Answers for Elders is part of the SeniorResource Network: https://www.seniorresource.com/
Check out our affiliate podcast Alzheimer’s Speaks: https://alzheimersspeaks.com/