A new initiative will establish nationwide infrastructure and develop strategies for the inclusion of underrepresented, diverse populations in clinical trials for dementia.

Equity AHEAD: Increasing Diverse Representation in Clinical Trials for Dementia

picture of principal investigator Reisa Sperling, M.D.

Principal investigator Reisa Sperling, M.D.

Dementia is a growing health crisis that burdens diverse communities disproportionately. More than 6 million people are now living with Alzheimer’s dementia in the U.S., and more than 11 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. Studies show that Blacks are twice as likely as Whites to develop Alzheimer’s, and Hispanics are 1.5 times more likely than Whites to develop Alzheimer’s.

Diverse communities are also underrepresented in clinical research — impeding efforts to mitigate the dementia crisis. An article published in Scientific American noted that, “Nearly 40% of Americans belong to a racial or ethnic minority, but the patients who participate in clinical trials [are 80% to 90% white].” While researchers are making steady progress in the areas of dementia risk reduction, early detection, treatment, quality care and support, it is not known whether communities that are disproportionately burdened by dementia will benefit because they are severely underrepresented in medical research.

The Alzheimer’s Association has made a new funding commitment to establish and expand community-based engagement of underrepresented, diverse populations in clinical trials for dementia. The Alzheimer’s Clinical Trial Consortium (ACTC) is a federally funded network of sites assembled to lead the nation into a new era of Alzheimer’s intervention research. The first trial to be part of the ACTC, AHEAD 3-45 is a Phase III clinical trial that will administer an amyloid-targeting drug to 1,000 individuals as young as 55 who have intermediate or elevated levels of beta-amyloid protein in their brain — a hallmark brain change of Alzheimer’s — but who do not show any signs of memory or thinking problems.

The Alzheimer’s Association has committed to raise $4 million to support the recruitment of individuals from underrepresented, diverse populations to participate in this groundbreaking clinical trial. In addition to helping ensure that AHEAD 3-45’s findings are applicable to people from a wide range of racial and ethnic backgrounds, the nationwide infrastructure and strategies developed to support community-based recruitment for this study will be leveraged thereafter by the ACTC, the Association and others to recruit diverse populations to clinical trials focused on Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. The Association has also committed to raise $1.4 million to support the processing and storage of blood samples in the AHEAD Study. With more than 1,000 study participants enrolling in this clinical trial, these samples will be a boon to the development of new blood biomarkers for dementia that are applicable to a diverse, real-world population.

We seek philanthropic partners to join us in increasing diverse representation clinical trials for dementia through Equity AHEAD. GHR Foundation, a longtime Association partner and a philanthropic leader of dementia research, has agreed to fulfill nearly half of our commitment with the expectation that we will raise the remainder from our community of generous donors.

This Project Advances:


Discovery Science


Early Detection





Learn more about the key outcome areas >

Step Up the Pace logo

Step Up the Pace is a special initiative to increase philanthropic investment in four key dementia research outcomes areas: Discovery Science, Early Detection, Treatment and Prevention.


Fundraising Standards
Research Center


Email: leadershipgiving@alz.org
Phone: 800.272.3900

We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. Learn about options for managing your personal data in our Privacy Policy.