DOI: 10.1002/alz.13558 ISSN: 1552-5260

How reactions to a brain scan result differ for adults based on self‐identified Black and White race

Shana D. Stites, Emily A. Largent, Rosalie Schumann, Kristin Harkins, Pamela Sankar, Abba Krieger
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Neurology (clinical)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Health Policy
  • Epidemiology



How do reactions to a brain scan result differ between Black and White adults? The answer may inform efforts to reduce disparities in Alzheimer's disease (AD) diagnosis and treatment.


Self‐identified Black (n = 1055) and White (n = 1451) adults were randomized to a vignette of a fictional patient at a memory center who was told a brain scan result. Measures of stigma and diagnosis confidence were compared between‐groups.


Black participants reported more stigma than White participants on four of seven domains in reaction to the patient at a memory center visit. Black participants’ confidence in an AD diagnosis informed by a brain scan and other assessments was 72.2 points (95% confidence interval [CI] 70.4 to 73.5), which was lower than the respective rating for White participants [78.1 points (95%CI 77.0 to 79.3)].


Equitable access to early AD diagnosis will require public outreach and education that address AD stigma associated with a memory center visit.

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