Our nation has set a goal of discovering effective ways to delay, prevent or treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025. Perhaps you, or someone you know, are ready to become part of this vital research team effort.

Exploring new options

More than 150 Alzheimer’s studies and trials are taking place across the U.S. now and urgently need at least 700,000 volunteers to participate. These studies, many supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), examine the benefits of experimental drugs, test existing drugs for new purposes or explore nondrug interventions such as diet or lifestyle changes.

Consider joining a clinical trial, either as a volunteer or by helping a family member or friend to participate. Researchers need volunteers who are cognitively healthy, who are experiencing cognitive problems or who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Studies need men and women from diverse backgrounds to figure out this complex disease.

One major NIH-supported study, the Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s Disease (A4), study, represents a landmark new approach to find out if starting treatment early in the disease process, before overt symptoms appear, can keep Alzheimer’s at bay. For this study alone, investigators need 1,000 cognitively normal older adults who are at risk of Alzheimer’s to participate. Other ongoing trials continue to test treatments in people already diagnosed with the disease.

What’s in it for you?

Volunteering takes time and effort, and volunteers should not count on immediate or miraculous results. But there are many reasons to participate in clinical trials. Volunteers tell us they feel it is important to:

  • Play an active role in their health care

  • Help others who may be at risk, including future generations

  • Receive information and specialized medical attention from a research team that includes doctors and other health professionals

Of course, researchers want to and are required to protect the privacy and safety of volunteers.

Take that first step. Visit Volunteer for Alzheimer’s Research to learn more about participating in research that may one day lead to treatments that treat or prevent Alzheimer’s disease. You can ask your doctor about participating in a trial and use other free resources to find a trial near you:

  • Receive free information about participating, or speak to someone who can assist you in finding a study at the Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center (ADEAR). Call ADEAR toll-free at 1-800-438-4380 or visit the ADEAR clinical trials finder.

  • Sign up for a registry or a matching service to be invited to participate in studies or trials when they are available in your area.

  • Contact Alzheimer’s disease centers or memory or neurology clinics in your community. They may be conducting trials. ƒ

  • Look for announcements in newspapers and other media.

You can make a difference for yourself and future generations by participating in research. Let’s work together to understand and overcome this devastating disease.