UW study focuses on making Alzheimer’s research more inclusive 

A study at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is seeking to recruit more Black participants to ensure Alzheimer’s research is inclusive of all people, according to a report from Channel3000.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Black Americans are twice as likely as white Americans to develop Alzheimer’s disease. However, they are often severely underrepresented in research. Part of that is distrust of medical research among Black Americans following details of other studies showing how Black participants were mistreated.

In 1932, for example, the U.S. government began a study of Black men with syphilis at the Tuskegee Institute in Macon, Alabama. Researchers did not tell participants they had the disease and for the next 50 years allowed them to go untreated even as treatments were becoming widely available.

The Tuskegee Legacy Project found that about 60% of respondents who are self-identified as African American felt that they would be glad to participate in biomedical research if it was sponsored or overseen by their family physician. However, when asked that same question regarding whether the study would be done or conducted by a pharmaceutical company, by a tobacco company, by even a government entity of sorts, that number dropped from 60% to about 15%.

So far, the UW study has recruited around 400 participants and is still open to more.