Maria Mora Pinzon, MD, MS, presented “Barriers to Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease Among Latinx Individuals” at the August 18 Wednesday Nite @ The Lab livestream. Dr. Mora Pinzon is a primary care research fellow at the UW–Madison Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, a scientist with the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute (WAI), and a REC scholar in the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. In her presentation, she shared factors that increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, barriers that prevent equitable access to healthcare services, and the use of social media to bridge gaps in Hispanic/Latinx communities. Wednesday Nite @ The Lab is a free public research seminar series in which researchers share their work in a way geared for a public audience.
When discussing healthcare access, Dr. Mora Pinzon shared that Latinos with Alzheimer’s disease are less likely to receive a diagnosis and treatment, are more likely to receive care at home by unpaid caregivers, and develop Alzheimer’s disease symptoms seven years earlier than non-Hispanic whites. Further complicating the issue of access, diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s disease are typically not evaluated for Hispanic/Latinx populations, and tests often aren’t in the preferred language. According to census data from 2000, only 43% of Hispanic/Latinx in the U.S. are proficient in English, which introduces further barriers to healthcare.
Dr. Mora Pinzon also shared information about the WAI-Affiliated Dementia Diagnostic Clinics, a network of memory clinics located throughout Wisconsin. Clinic network professionals specialize in memory evaluations and supporting people with memory concerns and their families.