Risk, protective, and biomarkers of dementia in Indigenous peoples: A systematic review

Huong X.T. Nguyen, Kate Bradley, Bridgette J. McNamara, Rosie Watson, Roslyn Malay, Dina LoGiudice

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Dementia is an emergent health priority for Indigenous peoples worldwide, yet little is known about disease drivers and protective factors. METHODS: Database searches were conducted in March 2022 to identify original publications on risk, protective, genetic, neuroradiological, and biological factors related to dementia and cognitive impairment involving Indigenous peoples. RESULTS: Modifiable risk factors featured across multiple studies include childhood adversity, hearing loss, low education attainment, unskilled work history, stroke, head injury, epilepsy, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, depression, low BMI, poor mobility, and continence issues. Non-modifiable risk factors included increasing age, sex, and genetic polymorphisms. Education, ex-smoking, physical and social activity, and engagement with cultural or religious practices were highlighted as potential protective factors. There is a paucity of research on dementia biomarkers involving Indigenous peoples. DISCUSSION: Greater understanding of modifiable factors and biomarkers of dementia can assist in strength-based models to promote healthy ageing and cognition for Indigenous peoples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-592
Number of pages30
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Issue number1
Early online date25 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

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