UT Tyler Memory Center focuses Alzheimer’s efforts on African Americans with new technology
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The Texas African American Museum on Saturday hosted signups for memory screenings at UT Tyler as part of ongoing studies at the school’s Memory Assessment and Research Center and Aging.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, African Americans are twice as likely to be diagnosed with memory-related diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. The event on Saturday was a part of the center’s efforts to help a wider range of people and diversify their samples.
“We help a variety of people, that’s why I’m here, to try and diversify the group over there, the community, get more black people in the community, as well as different minorities,” said Latavious Boone, a graduate research assistant at UT Tyler.
There is no concrete scientific evidence as to why black Americans are more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s. Michael Barnett, the director of the Memory Assessment and Research Center and Aging at UT Tyler, says that the stresses black Americans face in society may be a leading factor.
“Stress, mental health issues, health problems kind of make you more likely to develop more consequences with age. Aging kind of just takes our biggest vulnerabilities and makes them bigger,” said Barnett.
The center is currently conducting a study using an app it has developed which can help predict if someone is likely to fall for a scam or misinformation. They are also using virtual reality to predict how a person would perform in an environment.
“If you wanna know if someone can cook safely, put them in a virtual kitchen. If you wanna know if they can shop, put them in a virtual grocery store,” said Barnett.
The center is currently paying study participants in $25 gift cards. To check them out you can visit their website.
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