People who’ve been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease don’t have decades to wait for a cure. They need help now. Many would be willing to use a drug that is still in clinical trials with the hope of experiencing positive results. There’s a second reason to enroll in clinical trials, however. Even if the results of a trial aren’t what they wished for, participants can feel satisfied that they’ve taken part in adding to the body of knowledge that will one day conquer Alzheimer’s.
How do people get involved in drug trials for Alzheimer’s? One efficient way is through the Alzheimer’s Association’s TrialMatch. Researchers are continually searching for qualified participants. As the TrialMatch website says, “We need your help. Without participation, finding a cure is virtually impossible…Recruiting and retaining clinical trial participants is now the greatest obstacle, other than funding, to developing the next generation of Alzheimer's treatments.”
TrialMatch offers a continuously updated database of over 130 Alzheimer's clinical trials that include both pharmacological (drug) and non-pharmacological (non-drug) studies being conducted at close to 500 trial sites across the country.
It’s through clinical trials that researchers prove or disprove their study results. Through these trials, they hope to discover new ways to detect, treat and prevent Alzheimer's disease and dementia. People with Alzheimer's, caregivers and healthy volunteers are all needed as participants in Alzheimer's and dementia research.
The clinical trial listings that you’ll find in TrialMatch come from publicly available sources, such as clinicaltrials.gov which is part of the National Institutes of Health. In addition, the Alzheimer’s Association reaches out to a wide variety of research facilities and trial sites across the country. According to the website, Alzheimer's Association TrialMatch only lists trials and studies that have Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. This is an independent ethics committee that approves, monitors and reviews research involving humans to protect the rights and welfare of the research subjects. Trials are also subject to additional vetting by the Alzheimer's Association prior to being approved.
Today, at least 50,000 volunteers, both with and without Alzheimer's disease, are needed to participate in more than 100 clinical trials involving Alzheimer's and related dementias. If you’d like to see if you or your loved one would qualify, find the TrialMatch site by clicking the TrialMatch link or going through the Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org.
Once on the site, you will be asked to complete a brief questionnaire, either online or over the phone, to create a profile. From there, the Alzheimer's Association will compare your unique profile to its comprehensive, continually updated clinical trial database. Then, with your permission, a TrialMatch specialist will contact you to provide a list of trials that match your specific eligibility and criteria.
If you have a passion for moving Alzheimer’s research forward, you may want to investigate TrialMatch. Even if you are one of the healthy control subjects, by taking part, you will have contributed to the research that is striving to stop this disease that is quickly becoming an epidemic.
National Alzheimer’s Association. Retrieved from http://www.alz.org/research/clinical_trials/find_clinical_trials_trialmatch.asp
Published On: July 12, 2013