Over 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). By 2050, this number is projected to increase to 14 million. The risk for AD is two to three times higher for African Americans than Whites. However, most of what we know about AD biomarkers and pathological changes comes almost exclusively from research studies of Whites because African Americans have been under-included in many prominent AD clinical trials.

The purpose of the proposed randomized comparative effectiveness trial is to compare the effectiveness of different approaches to AD education on AD knowledge and research attitudes. We will randomize 150 community-dwelling African American adults (ages 60-85) to either an AD outreach and education program with text messages tailored to African Americans (tailored texts), text messages that the general population would receive (general texts), or a control group. The primary outcome will be change in knowledge about AD and research attitudes over 6 months.

Our long-term objective is to increase African American participation in AD prevention research. We hypothesize that long-term engagement is critical to facilitate recruitment, and that targeted education and engagement in the form of text messaging will a) increase knowledge of AD, b) improve attitudes toward research, and c) increase the likelihood of enrollment into clinical trials. To test this hypothesis, we propose a pilot comparative effectiveness trial that will produce preliminary data to support future applications for well-powered trials of interventions to improve African American participation in AD prevention trials.

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