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Study: People with dementia who live at home suffer symptoms similar to those in nursing homes

The symptoms suffered by people living with dementia, such as anxiety or agitation, who live in the community occur at roughly the same rate as those living in nursing homes. That was just one finding from a new clinical trial.

Researchers took baseline survey data from a randomized clinical trial that's looking at home-based interventions for people living with advanced Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. 

Dr. Kurt Kroenke is a physician and a research investigator at the Regenstrief Institute in Indiana. He says another unique aspect of this trial are the participants themselves.

"So a lot of the clinical intervention studies — we call them clinical trials — that have been done in patients with dementia, maybe only 10% of the patients in these kinds of studies are African American. And in this study, it's 40%," said Kroenke.

Kroenke says that's significant.

"Their risk of dementia is 1 1/2 times greater than it is in white populations. And so it's a real important problem, but they tend to be less represented in clinical trials," Kroenke said.

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.