Think Tank

Donation Decisions Laden With History Of Racism

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African-Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia at higher rates than whites, yet they are less likely to take part in research.

That has created a vexing challenge for scientists, who are trying to persuade more blacks to participate in studies — while they are alive and after they die. A critical part of their efforts is asking for brain donations.

Donating one’s brain is hard for many to fathom, but for African-Americans it is also laden with a long history of racism in health care, including callous and sometimes deadly experimentation.

Senior correspondent Anna Gorman talked to KPCC’s A Martinez on Take Two about dementia among African-Americans and how one couple in Northern California made the decision to donate their brains after death.