This means our brains have less of the toxic protein that appears to cause Alzheimer’s in white people, and that we often live longer with the disease than they do. But it’s still a major risk for us.
Those of us who live in Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Tennessee are the most likely to develop Alzheimer’s. These places have the highest populations of Black people and some of the most racist and violent histories against us.
These histories translate to greater inequalities in health, housing, education, and employment, and it means added stress, a major factor in developing the disease.
So what can help us fight this disease? High blood pressure and less schooling are associated with higher chances of getting it, so we should get our blood pressure in check, get as much education as we can beyond high school, and get rid of the shame surrounding Alzheimer’s by talking to each other about this disease.
Alzheimer’s is hitting our communities hard, and the medical establishment often mistreats and overlooks us. But the more we advocate and build for ourselves in health and in research, the closer we will get to improving our outcomes against this disease.