Assistant Professor of Nursing

Promoting physical activity among older Latinos with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a public health priority.

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), the pre-dementia stage of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), increases the risk of developing AD and related dementias (ADRD). The number of Latinos living with AD is expected to reach 3.5 million by 2060, an increase of over eight-fold, which underscores the need for interventions to slow disease progression.

There is strong evidence that increasing physical activity reduces risk of cognitive decline among previously sedentary individuals. As one of the most sedentary older racial/ethnic groups, older Latinos experience multi-level barriers to physical activity, including cost, environmental factors, safety concerns, and lack of social networks. Few physical activity interventions are designed for older Latinos with MCI and the population remains underrepresented in clinical trials.

“Physical activity can be a powerful tool for reducing chronic disease risk factors, including cognitive decline. Designing interventions that center the needs of older Latinos, in partnership with community organizations and leaders, is necessary to advance cognitive health equity.”

Education

  • PhD, Arizona State University, 2009
  • MS, Arizona State University, 2004
  • BS, Arizona State University, 2000