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NPR新聞[翻譯]:阿爾茨海默氏癥研究顯示 發病情況或存在種族差異

發表時間:2019-01-09內容來源:VOA英語學習網

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Alzheimer's disease poses a special risk to African-Americans. Studies show they're up to twice as likely as white Americans to develop the disease. Now NPR's Jon Hamilton reports scientists have found evidence of a biological difference that might help explain the racial disparity.

JON HAMILTON, BYLINE: Most of what scientists know about Alzheimer's comes from studies of white people. And that's a problem, says John Morris, a researcher at Washington University in St. Louis.

JOHN MORRIS: We know relatively little about whether Alzheimer's disease is manifested in a identical way in underrepresented groups, such as African-Americans or Latino or Asians.

HAMILTON: So Morris and a team of researchers have been reaching out to the African-American community in St. Louis. And that effort led to a study that included 173 black participants as well as more than 1,000 whites. Morris says about a third of all patients were in the early stages of dementia.

MORRIS: So we set out to see if the disease process seems to be the same in both racial groups.

HAMILTON: The study used brain scans and samples of spinal fluid to look at the biological hallmarks of Alzheimer's, amyloid plaques and tangles made up of proteins called tau. Morris says blacks and whites were no different when it came to plaques.

MORRIS: However, the tau proteins were notably different.

HAMILTON: Spinal fluid from African-Americans contained lower levels of tau protein. And yet, these lower levels do not appear to indicate a lower risk of Alzheimer's in a black person the way they do in a white person. Morris says the finding, which appears in the journal JAMA Neurology, could be a big deal.

MORRIS: It implies that the biological mechanisms underlying Alzheimer's disease may be very different in racial groups. And if so, the way we try to diagnose and treat may be race-dependent.

HAMILTON: Morris says a biological difference might also help explain why African-Americans appear more likely to develop Alzheimer's. The study was accompanied by an editorial from Lisa Barnes, a researcher at Rush University in Chicago.

Barnes says she's excited that the research was done at all. However, she says the results need to be confirmed by a study that includes many more African-Americans. And that will be a challenge.

LISA BARNES: When you try to go to populations that have been sort of marginalized and abused by past research, it becomes very, very difficult.

HAMILTON: Barnes says one way to increase the numbers is for research centers to work together on studies.

BARNES: If we start to pool our numbers together, we'll be able to do more than just one center alone.

HAMILTON: And Barnes says researchers will also have to reach out to groups that have been hesitant to take part in scientific studies.

BARNES: We really need the minority communities to be involved as well and to really, you know, have a voice in what we're finding and to really walk this path with us. You know, we can't do it by ourselves.

HAMILTON: Barnes hopes the new study represents a step toward better collaboration. Jon Hamilton, NPR News.

參考譯文:

主持人奧迪·科尼什:阿爾茨海默氏癥對非洲裔美國人構成一種特殊的風險。研究表明他們患這種疾病的可能性是美國白人的兩倍。據NPR新聞的喬恩·漢密爾頓報道,科學家發現了生物差異的證據,這可能有助于解釋患這種病的種族差異。

連線記者喬恩·漢密爾頓:科學家對阿爾茨海默病的了解大多來自對白人的研究。圣路易斯華盛頓大學的研究員約翰·莫里斯說,這是一個問題。

約翰·莫里斯:相對而言,我們對阿爾茨海默氏癥在非裔美國人、拉丁美洲人或亞洲人等代表性不足的群體中是否以相同的方式表現知之甚少。

漢密爾頓:所以莫里斯和一組研究人員一直在接觸圣路易斯的非裔美國人社區的黑人。研究人員做了一項包括173名黑人參與者和1000多名白人參與者的研究。莫里斯說,大約三分之一的患者處于癡呆癥的早期階段。

莫里斯:所以我們開始研究這兩個種族的疾病過程是否相同。

漢密爾頓:這項研究利用腦部掃描和脊髓液樣本來觀察阿爾茨海默氏癥的生物學特征、淀粉樣斑塊和由tau蛋白構成的纏結。莫里斯說,黑人和白人在淀粉樣斑塊上沒有什么不同。

莫里斯:然而,tau蛋白水平明顯不同。

漢密爾頓:非裔美國人的脊髓液中tau蛋白含量較低。然而,這些較低的水平并不意味著黑人患老年癡呆癥的風險比白人低。莫里斯說,這項發表在《美國醫學會神經學期刊》上的發現可能是一件大事。

莫里斯:這意味著阿爾茨海默氏癥的生物學機制在不同種族群體中可能是非常不同的。如果是這樣的話,我們診斷和治療阿爾茨海默氏癥的方法可能得依據種族選擇。

漢密爾頓:莫里斯說,生物學上的差異也可能有助于解釋為什么非洲裔美國人似乎更容易患老年癡呆癥。芝加哥拉什大學的研究人員麗莎·巴恩斯發表了一篇社論,配合了這項研究。

巴恩斯說,她很高興這項研究終于完成了。不過,她說,要證實這項研究結果,還需要研究更多非洲裔美國人的情況。這將是一個挑戰。

麗薩·巴恩斯:當你試圖去研究那些被過去的研究在一定程度上邊緣化和虐待的人群時,事情就會變得非常非常困難。

漢密爾頓:巴恩斯說,增加這一數字的一種方法是讓研究中心共同進行研究。

巴恩斯:如果我們開始把我們的數據集中起來,我們就能做不止一個中心。

漢密爾頓:巴恩斯說,研究人員還必須接觸那些不愿參與科學研究的群體。

巴恩斯:我們真的需要少數民族社區的人也參與進來,你知道,讓那些人在我們的研究中擁有發言權,和我們一起走這條路。你知道,我們自己是完不成這個研究的。

漢密爾頓:巴恩斯希望這項新研究代表著向更好的合作邁出了一步。NPR新聞,喬恩·漢密爾頓報道

來自:VOA英語網 文章地址: http://www.ablur.com.cn/19/01/NPR09081631me.html

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