African American Studies

Dr. Graff-Radford's research team has several projects that evaluate the differences in dementia between Caucasians and African Americans. Understanding these differences could lead to population-specific interventions.

The Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Mayo Clinic provides free dementia evaluations for African Americans. John A. Lucas, Ph.D., led an initiative to set the norms for many standard neuropsychology tests, published in Mayo Older African American Normative Studies (MOAANS). These standards have prevented the over diagnosis of dementia.

We have also published research on the risk of APOE in the African American population, including autopsy findings of African Americans with dementia. Nilufer Taner, M.D., Ph.D. has led the team by publishing other important genetic factors related to African Americans. In addition, John A. Lucas, Ph.D. has worked to create a dementia-friendly community for African Americans.

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