Health Disparities and Disability
Community-Based Early Identification of Mild Cognitive Impairment in At-Risk African Americans
Voyko Kavcic, PI. The National Institutes of Health awarded $201,000 over 18 months to use low-cost computerized tests and EEGs to detect early cognitive changes in otherwise healthy older African Americans and determine who may be at risk for later mild cognitive changes or Alzheimer's disease. African Americans have faster rates of cognitive decline than other races and are less likely to be diagnosed or receive treatment in its early stages.
The Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR) promotes health research on minority elders, particularly African American elders, that will lead to the reduction and elimination of health disparities as called for in Healthy People 2010 through several approaches consistent with the NIA's 2005-2010 Strategic Plan. Exemplars of MCUAAAR's efforts include a successful mentoring program focused on building a network of minority investigators who are committed to becoming productive scholars in the area of health and aging. Health promotion and the reduction and elimination of health disparities is only possible with the effective recruitment and retention of African American and other minority elders in health research. We will continue to build upon our productive research program in this area, and continue to reach out to seniors in the city of Detroit with the explicit purpose of building upon our developed databases of research participants. This volunteer participant pool is comprised of individuals who have agreed to be contacted to engage in health-related studies that have significance for their communities.
MCUAAAR is one of six center grants on Minority Aging Research funded by the NIA. Our particular center is a joint effort between Wayne State University and the University of Michigan and includes several departments and colleges from both institutions. To date, 30 pilot investigation studies have been completed. The center sponsors a summer conference each year to further educate junior faculty in the research process, research methods, and grant writing