Characterization of Mexican Americans with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease

J Alzheimers Dis. 2013;33(2):373-9. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2012-121420.


The purpose of the study was to provide characterization of Mexican Americans who meet criteria for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). For the study, 1,069 participants ages 40 and above who self-identified as either non-Hispanic white (n = 633) or Mexican American (n = 436) were recruited using a community-based participatory research approach. Global cognition was assessed via the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), dementia severity by the Clinical Dementia Rating Scale, and depression via the Geriatric Depression Scale 30-item version. Age, gender, education, ApoE ε4 allele frequency, and diabetic diagnoses were also analyzed. The findings showed that Mexican Americans (normal controls, MCI, and AD) were younger, less highly educated, performed more poorly on the MMSE, endorsed more symptoms of depression, were more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes, and possessed the ApoE ε4 allele less frequently. Age was the only significant risk factor for cognitive dysfunction (AD/MCI) among Mexican Americans (OR = 1.06, 95% CI = 1.03-1.09). Age (B = 0.07, std = 0.02, p < 0.001) and ApoE ε4 presence (B = 0.9, std = 0.4, p = 0.02) were significantly related to increased disease severity. Given the rapidly growing and aging Mexican American population, there is a substantial need for research into cognitive aging, MCI, and AD among this ethnic group. The current findings hold important implications for both clinic and research settings and point to additional research needs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / ethnology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / ethnology*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / genetics
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depression / ethnology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / ethnology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexican Americans / genetics
  • Mexican Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Risk Factors
  • Texas / epidemiology
  • White People / genetics
  • White People / statistics & numerical data*


  • Apolipoproteins E