Carlos Olivas: Every Day is Different as a Latino Caregiver


carlos a latino alzheimer's caregiver

A cool breeze hits Carlos Olivas III’s face and suddenly the smells of fresh, warm coffee and donuts hits his nose. He enjoys a short, tranquil moment at a bakery as part of his daily routine alongside his father, Carlos Olivas Jr., also known as Charlie. Carlos is a full-time caregiver for Charlie, who is living with Alzheimer’s in Sacramento. Carlos saw what caregiving looked like from a young age. He watched his mother and father care for his grandmother and, later, his father care for his ailing mother.   “My dad was the caregiver for my mom, who was dealing with breast cancer, diabetes, and congenital heart failure. In 2008, she passed. Reflecting back, that was the first time, the real hero,” Carlos said. “He set the stage as a male caregiver, without knowing ...

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Watch Webinar: How to Care for the Latino Caregiver



Family is the heart of Latino culture. Many Latinos are expected to take on the respectable but high-stress role of caregiving for their aging parents, who are 1.5 times more likely than non-Latino Whites to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Join UT Health San Antonio's webinar — “How to Care for the Latino Caregiver” — at 11 a.m. CST on Tuesday, June 27, 2023, to explore how to support Latino caregivers as they support their families. Panelists from UT Health San Antonio, the National Alliance for Caregiving, and Genentech will share how to ease caregivers’ stress, anxiety, and depression, as part of Alzheimer's And Brain Awareness Month in June. This is a part of a webinar of a series, “Let’s Address Health Equity Together.” The series is a collaboration of ...

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South Texas Scientists Link Obesity to Alzheimer’s Gene


Tape measure and scale

Researchers from UT Health San Antonio have tied obesity to with 21 Alzheimer’s disease-related genes. In analyzing 74 Alzheimer’s-related genes from the Framingham Heart Study, researchers found that 21 of them were either under-expressed or over-expressed in obesity. “Several of the genes were more strongly related to obesity in midlife versus in late life, and also to obesity in women versus men,” said Dr. Claudia Satizabal, study lead author and assistant professor of population health sciences at UT Health San Antonio. Alzheimer’s Genes Linked to Obesity The UT Health San Antonio study also found 13 Alzheimer’s-related genes were associated with body mass index (BMI) and eight genes associated with a second metric of obesity called waist-to-hip ratio. “Those ...

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Unpacking Latino Genes to Find Answers for Alzheimer’s Disease



Researchers are exploring a genetic variant that could explain the higher rates of Alzheimer’s among Latinos living in Puerto Rico. This work – which is ongoing – could help fill a critical gap in Latino Alzheimer’s research and spark new treatments for dementia, according to researchers at the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics at the University of Miami. “A genetic target, which drug companies are showing interest in, is twice as likely to be successful therapeutically than nongenetic targets,” Margaret Pericak-Vance, leader of the Hussman Institute, told NBC News. Let’s dive into the research and how it impacts Latinos! The Need for Genetic Research on Alzheimer’s among Latinos Latinos are 1.5 times more likely than their peers to have ...

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Help Researchers Learn More about Preventing Dementia, Disability, and Disease


Patient and doctor

If you’re age 75 or older, you should know about PREVENTABLE. PREVENTABLE – the Pragmatic Evaluation of events And Benefits of Lipid-lowering – is a clinical trial to help researchers understand if taking a statin, a drug commonly used to lower cholesterol in younger adults, is helpful for older adults, specifically when it comes to maintaining health by preventing dementia, disability, and heart disease. “We really don’t know how these drugs work in older adults,” according to the research team at UT Health San Antonio, including Dr. Sara Espinoza, principal investigator for the local study site. “Most, if not all, of the studies of statins have been done in much younger people, in their 50s and 60s, but studies in adults over 75 are rare.” The national study is ...

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Go Fish! Study Connects Omega-3s to Brain Health Improvement at Midlife


Omega-3 options

Consuming cold-water fish and other sources of omega-3 fatty acids could preserve brain health and enhance cognition in middle age, according to a recent study led by researchers at UT Health San Antonio and the Framingham Heart Study. “Our results, albeit exploratory, suggest that higher omega-3 fatty acid concentrations are related to better brain structure and cognitive function in a predominantly middle-aged cohort free of clinical dementia,” according to the study. What Are Omega-3s? Omega-3s are a family of essential fatty acids that play an important role in the human body. “Although evidence is mixed, studies indicate that omega-3 fatty acids can protect against all sorts of illnesses, including breast cancer, depression, ADHD, and various inflammatory diseases,” ...

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Positive Study Results Give New Hope for Alzheimer’s Patients


Older Latina and family member

Alzheimer’s patients and their loved ones have new reason for hope after positive results from clinical trial of a new treatment called lecanemab. Lecanemab – a drug designed to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by targeting amyloid plaque buildup in the brain – reduced the progression of cognitive decline among trial participants by 27% over 18 months, compared to placebo, according to UsAgainstAlzheimers. “This is very important and quite positive news that gives our nation’s 6 million Alzheimer’s patients and their loved ones reason to hope again. In fact, the data is a reminder that each drug in this class of therapies is quite different,” said George Vradenburg, chair and co-founder of UsAgainstAlzheimers. What do the results show, and how will ...

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Help South Texas Researchers Learn About Aging


Compadre CART

By 2030, 40% of Alzheimer’s patients in the U.S. will be Latino or Black. However, Latinos make up less than 1% of participants in National Institutes of Health clinical trials. Clinical trials are studies that help researchers learn more to help slow, manage, and treat Alzheimer’s and cancer for current and future family members. Without Latino volunteers for clinical trials, the benefits may miss this group. With Compadre CART at the Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s & Neurodegenerative Diseases at UT Health San Antonio participants have the opportunity to help an underrepresented, high-risk group maintain independence with aging. To participate, contact Luis Serranorubio of the research team at 210-450-8447. Compadre CART Study Goals To learn more about why ...

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Latin Dance Could Improve Working Memory of Older Latinos


Latin Dance

From merengue to salsa, dance and music are at the heart of the Latino community. Latin dance celebrates culture, history, family, and joyous occasions. Now Latin dance is proving to help the working memory of older Latinos. Latinos age 55 or older who participated in a culturally relevant Latin dance program for 8 months significantly improved their working memory, compared to other peers in a controlled group that attended educational workshops, according to a recent study by researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Let’s explore why Latin dance is so beneficial. What Did the Latin Dance Study Explore?  The recent study examined changes in cognitive performance among over 330 middle-aged and older Latinos participating in the Balance and Activity in ...

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