If you or a family member has been affected by Alzheimer’s disease (AD), there are many reasons to get involved in clinical trials. One of the biggest advantages is that participants may receive a higher level of care and gain access to a higher level of Alzheimer’s disease information than those who opt not to get involved. Moreover, you could be helping to move medical research into the future of finding the cure for AD.
According to alzheimers.org, there is a need of around 50,000 volunteers (both with and without the AD) who are needed for clinical research trials today. Without volunteers, improved treatment, prevention or cure for the disease could never become a reality. Recruiting and keeping volunteers is the number one obstacle for finding new treatment and prevention strategies for Ad, Other than the challenge of getting more funding.
Benefits of Clinical Research Trials for Participants
In addition to the personal satisfaction of helping the cause of finding better treatment interventions and working toward the cure of AD, there are many personal benefits that volunteers receive:
Become empowered by contributing to the improvement of your own health
Receive the latest in medical treatment before it’s available to the general public
Get access to a very high level of medical care-usually free of cost
Research indicates that overall those who have been involved in clinical trials do better than those in the same stage of the disease who are NOT involved in research.
Help future generations who may fall victim to the disease (including your children and grandchildren)
Risks of Clinical Trails
You may be asked to take a placebo (or sugar pill) to be part of a comparison group receiving no medical benefits
Serious side effects may be a risk factor
The new treatment or medication may not be effective
Keep in mind that although there are risks in clinical trials, experts are involved to help ensure the highest level of patient safety for participants. All risks will be spelled out in detail in writing before involvement begins.
When it comes to clinical research trials, no treatment will ever be studied on humans unless there is a pretty good indication that the specific treatment advance will be effective or more effective than current modalities.
CLICK HERE to learn more about resources for finding clinical trials in your local area by signing up for our 25 topic lessons at AlzU.org.