This slideshow on nytimes.com profiles Hispanic people with Alzheimer’s and gives a real perspective on the disease, how it affects families and a number of important facts. According to studies, Hispanics develop Alzheimer’s earlier in life than other ethnic groups. They are not genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s, but have other risk factors such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, stroke and hypertension, which put them at higher risk than other groups for developing dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association said that about 200,000 Latinos in the United States have Alzheimer’s. This number could increase to 1.3 million by 2050.
Antonio Vasquez, a 60-year-old with Alzheimer’s is highlighted in the slideshow. One time he once wandered away during a family visit to New York and returned to his home in Philadelphia nine hours later. He boarded a Philadelphia bound bus, giving his driver’s license to the bus driver, as he did not know where he was going.
Another woman, Teresa Mojica, 63, also suffers from dementia. The disease makes her delusional, causing her to occasionally strike her husband. Interestingly, she has diabetes and hypertension which she developed earlier on in life due to stress. Both are risk factors for the disease.