Participation in Clinical Trials
By Dr. Raj C. Shah, MD, Associate Professor of Family Medicine and the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center and Medical Director of the Rush Memory Clinic
More volunteers are needed to help develop and test new procedures, drugs, vaccines, and devices for the prevention, screening, and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). People always ask me why it takes so long to develop better treatments. There are many reasons; one reason is that safety comes first. For every 100,000 compounds that show promise in the treatment of AD, only 100 or so will pass the rigorous laboratory and animal safety testing. Once a compound is ready for human studies, there may still be delays. For example, there may not be enough people interested in volunteering for clinical trials. On average, only 1 out of 100 persons with AD participates in research. If we can increase the number to even 5 out of 100 persons, we could speed up the time it takes to figure out whether a particular procedure, drug, vaccine, or device really does work. I encourage all of you to consider participating in clinical trials.
The Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center is currently conducting numerous clinical trials. Please contact us at (312) 942-6596 if you are interested in participating in research opportunities at Rush. You can learn more about clinical trials at www.clinicaltrials.gov, or The Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP) offers news and information about clinical research participation. Call 1-888-MED-HERO, or visit www.ciscrp.org/.