The United States has invested significant resources through innovative research to address the profound effects of Alzheimer?s Disease, and Alzheimer?s Disease and Related Dementias (AD/ADRD) on families and society, but Black males historically have not experienced the full benefits of scientific advances from that research. For example, non-Hispanic Black men have diminished health and increased morbidity due to preventable diseases (e.g., cardiac, diabetes, high blood pressure) and shorter life expectancies than their White male counterparts Additionally, elderly Black men are more likely to fall and sustain a TBI than whites, which increases the subsequent vulnerability of the brain and risk of dementia. Although the prevalence of Alzheimer?s disease in Black Americans is two to three times higher than Whites, a complete understanding of the cause of this health disparity remains elusive. The lack of a highly trained, multidisciplinary scientific workforce that addresses the full range of biological, biomedical, behavioral, and health sciences approaches to AD/ADRD health disparities research hinders innovation among this population. This problem is compounded by the persistent under- representation of Black American males in biomedical. During this three-year conference series, leading multidisciplinary scholars will come together with emerging investigators from across the U.S. to address specific cultural, social and behavioral factors that contribute to some individuals in this population being more cognitively resilient and experience a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer?s disease than others. Scholars will enhance the NIA Health Disparities Research Framework (HDRF) with the inclusion of empirically based factors that are responsive to the Black male experience, as well as focus on efforts to improve recruitment and retention strategies for participation from this population in aging research. An essential feature of the conference series will be to engage community stakeholders (e.g., NFL Alumni Association, Men?s Health Network, Pinellas County Health Department) in multiple aspects of the conference design, planning and implementation including the selection of scientists, providing feedback on conference presentations, and dissemination. Planning, implementation, participation and evaluation of the conference will incorporate individuals from historically underrepresented groups The aims of the conference series are: (1) to address knowledge gaps and identify future priorities in cognitive reserve, resilience, and AD/ADRD health disparities life course research among Black males; (2) to cultivate a culturally competent workforce trained and committed to addressing Black male?s brain health, cognitive aging, and AD/ADRD research, (3) build a multisite research volunteer registry of Black males. These initiatives help support important work that align with the goals of the Division of Behavioral Health and Society Research (BSR) within NIA, to achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups.

Public Health Relevance

Despite heightened awareness, stark disparities in U.S. population-level health outcomes continue to persist. Black males, in particular, suffer high rates of biological, psychological, and sociocultural vulnerabilities throughout the life course that could uniquely and substantially increase their Alzheimer?s Disease and Alzheimer?s Disease Related Dementias (AD/ADRD) risk. The goal of this three-year conference series is to advance health disparities research via focused and collaborative attention on the increased representation of Black males in biomedical research and better integration of their unique biopsychosociocultural risk and resilience factors into models of brain health, cognitive aging, and AD/ADRD across the life course.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Conference (R13)
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Neuroscience of Aging Review Committee (NIA)
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Elliott, Cerise
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George Washington University
Schools of Medicine
United States
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