It can be difficult to know what's best for your loved one with Alzheimer's disease. Some days, you may feel like you're doing everything you can to keep them comfortable and engaged, while other days it feels like you're barely holding on. While there is no cure for Alzheimer's Disease, participating in research can help us learn more about the disease and how to best treat it. So if you're not sure where to start, here are some tips to find Alzheimer's research studies and why you or your loved one should consider participating.
The Rising Rate of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative brain disorder that leads to dementia, and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the US. According to the Alzheimer's Association, the disease is currently the fifth leading cause of death for people aged 65 and over, and the rate of Alzheimer's is growing. Studies estimate that by 2050, the number of Americans living with Alzheimer's will more than double, to roughly 14 million.
The vast majority of Alzheimer's patients are over the age of 65, but the disease is not limited to this age group. Early-onset Alzheimer's can develop in people in their 40s and 50s. While there is no known cure for Alzheimer's, there are treatments that can help to manage the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. With the baby boomer generation aging, we expect that the rate of Alzheimer's will continue to grow in the coming years.
4 Reasons to Participate in Alzheimer’s-Related Studies
As we touched on, the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease is on the rise. While there is no cure for Alzheimer's, researchers are working hard to develop new treatments and therapies that can improve the quality of life for those living with the disease. One way to help speed up this process is by participating in research studies. Alzheimer's research studies can take many forms, but all aim to improve our understanding of the disease and how best to treat it. Here are four reasons that someone with Alzheimer's may want to consider taking part in related research:
1. Help Advance Medical Research.
Taking part in a study helps to further medical knowledge and might lead to new information and breakthroughs in the treatment of Alzheimer's
2. Receive Personalized Care.
Research studies often offer participants access to new treatments and therapies that are not yet widely available. This means that participants can receive personalized care that is tailored to their specific needs.
3. Connect with Others.
Participating in a study provides an opportunity to connect with other people who are living with Alzheimer's. This can be an important source of support for your loved one. Plus, it's a great way for you to connect, receive, and share information and resources with other caregivers.
4. Help Others.
Many patients facing Alzheimer’s want to feel needed and helpful. If your loved one is able to, participating in research may be a great way for them to feel like they're helping others who are dealing with this disease.
How to Find Research Studies for Alzheimer’s Patients
If your loved one is interested in participating in a research study, check the resources below to find one near you:
Ask your loved one’s doctor or care team. They may know about local research studies in Orange County that may be a good fit for your loved one.
Sign up for a registry or a matching service for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. These will offer you a chance to hear about and take part in studies or trials when they come available in your area.
Contact Alzheimer’s research centers and/or local memory or neurology clinics to see if they are conducting trials.
Check the Alzheimers.gov Clinical Trials Finder.
Look for announcements in newspapers, online, through television stations, and other media.
(Source: List adapted from NIH.gov)
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