While a cure or effective treatment for Alzheimer’s continues to remain elusive, there have been promising research developments this year. Recently, the results of a drug trial found that lecanemab helped to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.
These breakthroughs wouldn’t happen without trial participants. It’s vital that researchers have access to a sufficient pool of volunteers. There are a variety of ways people can participate in Alzheimer’s research and you don’t have to have a specific diagnosis or be a certain age to participate in some programs. I take a battery of online brain tests and answer a health questionnaire a few times per year. Other areas of research may require in-person interviews, a blood draw, following a specific diet or taking medication.
Participating in a drug trial can come with risks, such as side effects from the medication. For example, aducanumab led to brain bleeding or swelling in 41 percent of clinical trial participants.
Study participants are closely monitored, so side effects are documented and treated quickly. Those willing to take this risk help determine a drug’s safety profile and whether a drug’s benefit outweighs its side effects.
Another important point to remember when it comes to drug trials is that there is typically a group receiving the trial drug and another group receiving a placebo, but “blind” trials don’t inform participants which one they are receiving.