We think it’s safe to say that we all want to make a positive difference in the world before we leave. You’ve already done some great things in your life, but if you have received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia, you may assume that your contributions to society and the future are over. Not so!
There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s and dementia, but scientists all over the world are hard at work trying to find ways to prevent, slow down, and even cure this disease that could affect as many as 131 million people around the world by 2050. These researchers need your help! According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “recruiting and retaining trial participants is now the greatest obstacle, other than funding, to developing the next generation of Alzheimer’s treatments.”
The Need is Great
Over 130 clinical trials related to Alzheimer’s are actively recruiting participants. These trials are a crucial way for researchers and scientists to gain a better understanding of the disease, test new treatment protocols, and perform further research toward a cure. If the idea of one more person – especially someone you love – getting an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis boils your blood then volunteering for a clinical trial can be your way of fighting Alzheimer’s and possibly playing an important role in saving future generations from the ravaging disease. That’s not the only reason for you to consider participating in a clinical trial, though.
Benefits of Participating in a Clinical Trial
Being a medical guinea pig has its advantages. For one thing, you can make the choice to play an active role in your own healthcare and use your diagnosis to forward scientific understanding and research. Your reasons don’t have to be so lofty and esoteric, though. Participating in clinical trials may give you access to cutting edge treatments that are otherwise unavailable to the general public. You will also get excellent medical care, usually at no extra cost, which could help you stay healthier throughout the trial.
The most important reas
on to consider participating in a clinical trial though, remains the fact that your contribution could help defeat or at least mitigate the damage of dementia and Alzheimer’s in the future. Who knows, one day scientists may develop an inoculation against Alzheimer’s that your great-great grandchildren will receive along with their measles and polio vaccinations.
Understand the Risks of Clinical Trial
If your heart is soaring and you are ready to sign up for the next clinical trial available, hold on just a moment. It’s important for you to understand what you might be getting yourself into. Though treatments must go through extensive testing before they can move onto human trials, there is no way to completely predict how the treatment will affect each member of the clinical trial. You may experience unpleasant side effects of the medication or even get sick! There is also the chance that you will be given a placebo treatment (required in all double blind trials), which will not improve your condition.
Ready to Sign Up for a Trial?
Now that you know the risks and rewards, are you still interested in participating in an Alzheimer’s and dementia clinical trial? The Alzheimer’s Association makes it easy for you to search for trials that are actively enrolling participants. Just complete a short questionnaire to create a profile, and then the Alzheimer’s Association will help match you with enrolling trials.
If your loved ones are looking for a way to make a difference in the fight against Alzheimer’s, they can also sign up for the Trial Match program. Many studies need healthy volunteers (especially relatives of those with Alzheimer’s or dementia) to compare against those with Alzheimer’s. Send them the link to the Trial Match program and encourage them to sign up!
If you are a family member or friend of someone suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia consider stopping by our caregiver and family support group? We meet every month to share stories, ask questions, and provide advice in a caring and supportive environment. RSVP today!
Categories: Memory Care