Dementia in Africa: Current evidence, knowledge gaps, and future directions

the African Dementia Consortium (AfDC)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

In tandem with the ever-increasing aging population in low and middle-income countries, the burden of dementia is rising on the African continent. Dementia prevalence varies from 2.3% to 20.0% and incidence rates are 13.3 per 1000 person-years with increasing mortality in parts of rapidly transforming Africa. Differences in nutrition, cardiovascular factors, comorbidities, infections, mortality, and detection likely contribute to lower incidence. Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, and human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome–associated neurocognitive disorders are the most common dementia subtypes. Comprehensive longitudinal studies with robust methodology and regional coverage would provide more reliable information. The apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele is most studied but has shown differential effects within African ancestry compared to Caucasian. More candidate gene and genome-wide association studies are needed to relate to dementia phenotypes. Validated culture-sensitive cognitive tools not influenced by education and language differences are critically needed for implementation across multidisciplinary groupings such as the proposed African Dementia Consortium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Africa
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • consortium
  • dementia
  • epidemiology
  • genetics
  • neuropathology. biomarkers
  • precision medicine
  • vascular dementia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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