Looking To the Population for a Cure
I was reading an article the other night in bed that was addressing the monumental need for volunteers that are needed for clinical trials for dementia and Alzheimer’s treatment. I am sorry but I can not locate the article but felt the need to write about it today. I will paraphrase as best I can and will be writing more about this need in the future.
The general jest of the article was most of the current studies will never materialize because there are not enough volunteers. Because tens of thousands of volunteers are needed to fill a few thousand suitable participants. That by itself does not sound so bad. However, that is for one study not the hundreds of studies that are looking for a cure.
The first key is to apply to participate. The Alzheimer’s Association has what they call TrialMatch, this is a starting point to volunteer. I will repost this link at the end of the post.
Early Detection Required
The next problem is that so often dementia and Alzheimer’s is not identified until the later stages of the disease. When the person is forgetting so much they can no longer perform everyday tasks. We have to get willing participants in sooner not later, in the progression of the disease. Some early warning signs are misplacing everyday items on a regular basis, not being able to retrace their steps and actions. then finding the items in bizarre places. Forgetting recent conversations, appointments. Here is a link to 10 early signs by the Alzheimers Association. Memory loss and 10 early signs
These are long-term studies they require a commitment, not just the participant but also an observer, generally a family caregiver. Who can document how the participant is doing, making sure that they are following the instructions, and driving them to their appointments. This brings up another sad fact over 50% of the caregivers pass away before the PLWD. These are long-term trials, not years but decades in some cases.
I found the original story that inspired this –post https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/23/health/alzheimers-treatments-trials.html
Link to early detection https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/10_signs
Link to TrialMatch https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/research_progress/clinical-trials/about-clinical-trials