Researchers are now looking into why African Americans develop Alzheimer's disease at a more frequent rate than Caucasians.
Past studies have shown "that age-specific prevalence of dementia is 14 percent to 100 percent higher in African Americans," CarolinaPeacemaker.com reports.
To see why, Dr Goldie Byrd, chair of the Biology Department at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, will lead a five-year research study of African American men and women age 60 or older, according to the article.
"Minorities experience more social, economic and job-related stress. We believe that environmental factors are involved as well as genetic influences. Vascular disease, hypertension and obesity are also some of the factors," Byrd told the news provider.
While there have been advances in early detection and research about how to keep an older brain active, there is still no hard evidence as to the cause of the debilitating disease.
Recently, a larger study was granted to Bapineuzumab, a drug some medical officials have said could potentially treat Alzheimer's disease in some patients.
An estimated 5.2 million people in the U.S. are currently living with Alzheimer's disease. By 2030, it's estimated the number of individuals with the disease will reach 7.7 million.