Clinical characteristics of community-dwelling black Alzheimer's disease patients

Dylan G. Horwood, Warren W. Barker, Raymond L. Ownby, Ranjan Duara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


There is a relative dearth of studies examining the cognitive and neuropsychiatric features of black Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients in the United States. Therefore, this cross-sectional investigation reported on the prevalence and clinical correlates of depression and psychosis in a community-dwelling black AD sample. The study participants comprised 55 English-speaking black patients evaluated consecutively at a university-affiliated memory disorders clinic. All patients were evaluated utilizing standardized procedures and diagnosed with possible or probable AD according to the criteria established by the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Diseases and Stroke-Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association. The presence of neuropsychiatric symptoms, including major depression and psychosis (delusions or hallucinations) was established via a semistructured psychiatric interview with the patient and primary care giver. The level of global cognitive impairment was rated with the Mini-Mental State Examination. The results showed that major depression and psychosis were observed in 20% and 58% of the sample, respectively. Mood disturbance was linked with low education, whereas psychosis was associated with greater cognitive dysfunction. This study provides important insight into the clinical characteristics of community-dwelling black AD patients. It is clear that continued research in the area of ethnicity and dementia is warranted to better understand the clinical needs of blacks and other minority populations in the United States that are afflicted with AD. (J Natl Med Assoc. 2000;92:424-429.).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-429
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2000


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Ethnicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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