Study examines differences in people of diverse backgrounds with Lewy body disease

By Michelle Koidin Jaffee

Doctor Melissa Armstrong and Andrea Kurasz
(From left) Dr. Melissa Armstrong and Andrea Kurasz.

New findings by University of Florida researchers suggest there may be differences in people with Lewy body disease related to racial-ethnic background, such as differences in the proportion of women vs. men diagnosed, cardiovascular risk factors, medication use and performance on cognitive tests.

The new study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease highlights a need for further research into whether any such differences stem from disease-related factors and how social or biological factors may impact care of people with Lewy body dementia, the second-most common neurodegenerative dementia.

The research team, led by Melissa Armstrong, M.D., an associate professor of neurology, and doctoral student Andrea Kurasz, examined data from the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center to shed light on characteristics among diverse people with cognitive impairment from Lewy body diseases such as dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson disease. The study included 1,782 white non-Hispanics, 130 African Americans and 122 Hispanics whose data are included in the National Institute on Aging-funded database.

Read the full post on the McKnight Brain Institute’s website.