Ethnic and Racial Disparities in Cognitive Aging

Recorded on October 6, 2021

Jaime Perales, PhD

Maria Marquine, PhD

The content of this session focuses on cognitive aging and ethnic and racial disparities. This is a topic related to psychological practice and research beyond the application of psychological assessment and/or intervention methods that are supported by contemporary scholarship grounded in established research procedures.

  1. Explore the differences in cognitive aging between ethnic and racial groups in the US.
  2. Understand the potential mechanisms that explain disparities in cognitive aging.
  3. Identify the strengths and limitations of studies comparing cognitive aging outcomes between different ethnic and racial groups.

Jaime Perales Puchalt, Ph.D., MPH, is an Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center. His background is in psychology and public health. In addition to conducting research in Spain, England and the United States, Dr. Perales Puchalt has collaborated with teams from other countries in the European Union and the Americas. With a primary focus on reducing Latino dementia disparities, his research has led to the development of a dementia educational/recruitment tool for Latinos. He has also studied the risk of dementia and mild cognitive impairment among sexual and ethnoracial minorities. Currently, he has received federal funding to develop two interventions to reduce dementia access disparities among Latino families.

Dr. Maria Marquine is Associate Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego, and Director of Disparities Research in the Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology and Palliative Care. As a bilingual (Spanish/English) clinical scientist with expertise in cross-cultural neuropsychology and disparities in neurocognitive aging, she has built a program of research focused on understanding risk for neurocognitive impairment and decline among older Latinos with and without HIV. She has also led work on the development of tools for the accurate detection of neurological dysfunction via neurocognitive tests among Latinos in the U.S., and has received foundation and philanthropic funding to pursue neuropsychological research among older persons in Latin America. She is passionate about supporting the development of early career scientists, particularly those of underrepresented backgrounds, and serves leadership roles in various NIH-funded research training programs. She is the Chair of the Science Committee of the Hispanic Neuropsychological Society, a member of the Committee on Human Research of the American Psychological Association, and a member of the Cultural Interest Group of the International Neuropsychological Society.

Lines, L. M., & Wiener, J. M. (2014). Racial and ethnic disparities in Alzheimer’s disease: A literature review. US Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Office of Disability, Aging and Long-Term Care Policy.

Glymour, M. M., & Manly, J. J. (2008). Lifecourse social conditions and racial and ethnic patterns of cognitive aging. Neuropsychology review, 18(3), 223-254.

Kamalyan, L., Hussain, M. A., Diaz, M. M., Umlauf, A., Franklin, D. R., Cherner, M., … & Marquine, M. J. (2020). Neurocognitive impairment in Spanish-speaking Latinos living with HIV in the US: Application of the neuropsychological norms for the US‚ÄìMexico border region in Spanish (NP-NUMBRS). The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 1-20.

Marquine, M. J., Heaton, A., Johnson, N., Rivera-Mindt, M., Cherner, M., Bloss, C., … & Heaton, R. K. (2018). Differences in neurocognitive impairment among HIV-infected Latinos in the United States. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 24(2), 163-175.

Perales-Puchalt, J., Gauthreaux, K., Shaw, A., McGee, J. L., Teylan, M. A., Chan, K. C., … & Vidoni, E. D. (2021). Risk of mild cognitive impairment among older adults in the United States by ethnoracial group. International psychogeriatrics, 33(1), 51-62.

Barnes, L. L., & Bennett, D. A. (2014). Alzheimer’s disease in African Americans: risk factors and challenges for the future. Health Affairs, 33(4), 580-586.

Mayeda, E. R., Glymour, M. M., Quesenberry, C. P., & Whitmer, R. A. (2016). Inequalities in dementia incidence between six racial and ethnic groups over 14 years. Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 12(3), 216-224.

Gurland, B. J., Wilder, D. E., Lantigua, R., Stern, Y., Chen, J., Killeffer, E. H., & Mayeux, R. (1999). Rates of dementia in three ethnoracial groups. International journal of geriatric psychiatry, 14(6), 481-493.

Gonzalez, H. M., Tarraf, W., Schneiderman, N., Fornage, M., V√°squez, P. M., Zeng, D., … & DeCarli, C. (2019). Prevalence and correlates of mild cognitive impairment among diverse Hispanics/Latinos: Study of Latinos-Investigation of Neurocognitive Aging results. Alzheimer’s & dementia, 15(12), 1507-1515.

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Dr. Silva’s parents immigrated from Panama and Chile to the United States, and she was born and raised in melting pot that is New York City. She grew up speaking Spanish at home and feels fortunate to have grown up in an environment where cultural diversity was the norm, not the exception.

During her training to become a neuropsychologist, Dr. Silva was often asked to work with Spanish-speaking patients, though most training sites did not have supervisors who also spoke Spanish or had sufficient cultural knowledge relevant to Latinx populations. She joined HNS as a student and found mentorship and training resources that helped her gain competency in providing neuropsychological services to these patients. Dr. Silva has served on the HNS Board as Member-at-Large (2014-2016) and Secretary (2019-2022). She has also been involved with several committees over the years and is currently serving as the Chair of the Information Technology (IT) Committee. She views HNS as the main organization to promote development of professional resources and scientific advancements in neuropsychology that are specific to Latinx groups; she is honored to help the organization in any way she can. 

Dr. Silva is the owner of Pacific Neurobehavioral Clinic, PC, a group practice in San Diego, California that offers neuropsychological evaluation and psychotherapy services to adults with various neuropsychiatric conditions. She engages in clinical and civil forensic work and oversees the clinic operations.

Educational, training and professional experiences include:

  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology – Florida Institute of Technology
  • Post-doctoral fellowships – Fullerton Neuropsychological Services, St. Jude Medical Center (one year; neurorehabilitation) and University of California San Diego (one year; clinical neuropsychology)
  • Staff neuropsychologist at Sharp Memorial and Grossmont hospitals from 2009-2012
  • Board certified through the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) in Clinical Neuropsychology
  • Qualified Medical Evaluator (QME) for the state of California
  • Treasurer and Current Chair of California Psychological Association-Division 8 (Neuropsychology)

In her spare time, Dr. Silva enjoys playing and making music (piano and electronic instruments; she recently took up learning how to play the theremin), playing tennis, karaoke, and spending time with family and friends.