GAP-Net Site Kerwin Medical Center was featured in Community Impact on the rate of Alzheimer’s disease in Hispanic communities, and how they can help.
As part of a nationwide study, Kerwin Medical Center is testing the efficacy of Aducanumab, a drug that helps a type of plaque in the brain and slows memory impairment caused by Alzheimer’s disease. To do so, the clinic is hoping to have at least 18% of those participating to be Black or Hispanic—groups that can be up to twice as likely to be affected by the disease.
“The ultimate goal is to not just slow down the progression, but stop the progression,” said Dr. Diana Kerwin, founder and president of Kerwin Medical.
Through the Phase 4 study, doctors at Kerwin are looking to show the drug can be a clinical benefit to patients and therefore covered by Medicare when prescribed by doctors.
Kerwin said the clinic is hoping to enroll Black and Hispanic people due to their higher rates of developing the disease—something she attributed to higher community and environmental risk factors—in addition to myriad reasons that have historically kept them from participating in clinical trials.
“The lack of participation in research, the fact that these populations are affected more because of lack of resources … shows the structural inequalities in health care and historically how these communities have been underserved,” said Veronica Shankland, CEO and founder of nonprofit Dementia Care Warriors, which works with Kerwin Medical.
To overcome that, Kerwin is working with organizations like Shankland’s and using bilingual professionals to help spread awareness. In addition, the clinic helps to provide transportation to appointments via its partnership with the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation, serving meals at appointments, and connecting patients with volunteers to accompany them to visits.
“Any patient that’s diagnosed should be able to have access to these [drugs], not have them be overly burdensome to receive treatment and also not overly expensive,” Kerwin said.
Kerwin Medical Center
8198 Walnut Hill Lane, Jackson 100, Dallas
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Originally posted by Community Impact on June 23, 2023.