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Researchers launch new registry to ensure LGBTQ people are represented in Alzheimer’s studies

Last week, researchers launched a registry geared toward ensuring LGBTQ people are represented in Alzheimer’s studies. 

Marginalized populations are often left out of important medical research. 

"What we were seeing in a lot of the research focused on Alzheimer's disease and related dementias is that LGBTQIA+ people aren't included," said Jason Flatt with the University of Nevada - Las Vegas. He along with two colleagues launched RISE, or Research Inclusion Supports Equity. 

"And so many times when they navigated health care, they weren't treated nicely," said Flatt. "They were treated like something [was] wrong with their actual being, right. And so being misgendered or mistreated, or not allowed to have like their partner to be a part of their care experience."

And because there is a lot of diversity within the LGBTQ community, "we're focusing also on recruiting members of the LGBTQIA plus community who identify as racial ethnic minorities," explained Flatt. "So that's a big piece … And then we're also wanting to include people that are caring for individuals with memory loss."

The goal of RISE is to encourage LGBTQ people with memory concerns or a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other dementias to  enroll and be connected with studies in their area.

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.