Data from neuropathologic studies of the frequency of Alzheimer disease (AD) among African American persons conflict as to whether the neuropathologic phenotype of AD is identical in African American and white persons.
To examine clinical and neuropathologic phenotypes of AD in African American individuals and to compare AD and vascular burdens between African American and white persons.
Design, Setting, and Patients
Ten African American decedents who underwent brain autopsy at the Washington University Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center were matched for age, sex, and Clinical Dementia Rating with 10 white decedents between January 1, 1990, and January 1, 2000. The presence and degree of neurofibrillary tangles, senile plaques, Lewy bodies, cerebral infarcts, and cerebral amyloid angiopathy were determined.
All 20 individuals had a neuropathologic diagnosis of AD. There were no group differences in the presence or number of infarcts, plaques, tangles, Lewy bodies, or amyloid angiopathy.
In this small sample, we found no substantive differences in the neuropathology of AD among African American and white individuals.