Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials Need Volunteers to Move Forward
Many researchers, convinced that Alzheimer’s disease begins in the brain decades before symptoms appear, are conducting clinical studies focused on stopping the disease at this very early stage. Yet these studies lack participants.
One reason that these studies lack participants is that it’s simply not intuitive to volunteer for an Alzheimer’s study if you have no symptoms. However, even if people are interested in volunteering, they worry about the time involved, the privacy of their information and whether their health insurance rates will rise if they do participate.
Researchers who are conducting studies for those who have early to mid-stage Alzheimer’s are also finding it difficult to find enough participants because, while people may be interested in studies, they don’t know where to begin a search for an appropriate study. For this reason, companies sponsoring clinical trials have become more aggressive in reaching out to those of us working in elder care. They want to publicize the need for volunteers and most of us are happy to spread the word.
It’s my hope that some readers who are interested in finding out if they or a loved one could qualify for a study will check the list below and follow through in their search. The links will take you to the appropriate information for each study, which will include the locations of the clinical trials.
- A phase 3 trial exploring whether the compound LMTX can stop the development of a key hallmark of Alzheimer's disease is recruiting. The study will involve over Researchers are interested in people who are diagnosed with early to mid-stage Alzheimer's.
- Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (BAI), in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is conducting a major prevention trial to evaluate a treatment in cognitively healthy older adults at the highest known genetic risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease at older ages. Go to www.endalznow.org for more information. These scientists are working to identify possible biological markers that could eventually lead to early intervention long before symptoms occur.
- Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network Trials Unit (DIAN-TU) is recruiting participants who inherited a rare genetic mutation (present in less than one percent of the population) that increases risk for early onset Alzheimer's. Because symptoms can begin to show up when they are in their 30s, participants can be as young as 18. The trial will test three different drug interventions to see if they can remove or block plaque formation. This study is thought to be the first prevention trial in humans targeting beta-amyloid.
- Another study will target older adults who present no symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease but have had brain scans that show the presence of amyloid deposits which appear early in the disease process. The Center for Alzheimer's Research and Treatment at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, will recruit a thousand volunteers to test a drug designed to clear amyloid from the brain.
To find more clinical trials concerning Alzheimer’s disease that are currently enrolling participants you can visit the NIA-supported Alzheimer’s Disease Centers at ClinicalTrials.gov or the NIA Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center clinical trials database.
Cole, D. (2013, November 1) New Alzheimer's Research Holds Promise for Future. National Geographic. Retrieved from http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/11/131101-alzheimers-sleep-brain-proteins-science/
National Institute on Aging. Participating in Alzheimer's Disease Clinical Trials and Studies Fact Sheet. Retrieved from http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/participating-alzheimers-disease-clinical-trials-and-studies-fact-sheet#.UoDtS-KQOKI