It is no secret that there is an inequity when it comes to race and medical research. More often than not, research does not take all races and ethnicities into consideration, which can lead to inaccurate results and deficient care for some. Recently, a study investigated how race impacts models that predict brain amyloidosis.
About the Study
Published in Neurology, this study investigated the accuracy of brain models’ predictions of amyloidosis when accounting for race. Specifically, they looked into plasma biomarkers of neuroaxonal injury, tau, and amyloid.
For their study, they matched self-identified African-American patients to non-Hispanic white patients by age, cognitive status, and APOE ε4 carrier status. In total, 76 pairs were enrolled into the study. Results include:
- African-American amyloidosis patients were less likely to show brain amyloidosis in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
- Areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve for models predicting CSF Aβ42/Aβ40 based on plasma biomarkers were
- 0.86 for Aβ42/Aβ40
- 0.69 for p-tau231
- 0.76 for p-tau181
- 0.64 for neurofilament light chain (NfL)
- Probability of CSF Aβ42/Aβ40 positivity was not impacted by race
- However, African-Americans were found to have a lower probability of CSF Aβ42/Aβ40 when looking at plasma p-tau231, p-tau181, and NfL
- When looking at amyloid positron emission tomography status models, researchers observed similar results
In response to this, the research team states that there should be new tests that are not impacted by race rather than trying to fix and adjust existing ones.
Amyloidosis is an umbrella category for a number of diseases that are characterized by deposits of the amyloid protein in different organs, such as the heart and kidneys. Symptoms depend on which organ is impacted. For example, cardiac amyloidosis leads to effects like dizziness, chest pain, weight loss, nausea, insomnia, heart palpitations, swollen legs, fatigue, abnormal heart rhythms, and shortness of breath. When the nervous system is affected, symptoms include autonomic neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy, and sensorimotor impairment. Causes vary based on the type of amyloidosis one has. Similarly, treatment varies based on type and what organ is impacted.
Find the source article here.