What are Clinical Trials?
Clinical trials are research studies in which treatments or diagnostic tools are tested for safety and efficacy. At The CRCNJ, we conduct clinical trials focused on memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and dementia.
What are the Benefits of Clinical Trials?
Currently, 1 in 3 older adults die of Alzheimer’s disease or some form of dementia and 75% of those cases go undiagnosed. Therefore, every trial is important to bringing us
closer to the objective of diagnosing early and accurately, and to finding a cure. Every person who participates in a trial contributes to that goal.
There are many benefits and reasons to consider participating in a clinical trial, including:
- Maximum benefits of early diagnosis – The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease may not start to appear until the disease has progressed in the brain. Early diagnosis and clinical trial participation allow patients to gain access to experimental treatments that may delay the progression and prevent the disease from causing more serious impairment.
- Providing new solutions – Clinical trials test new treatments to find the best methods for treating or managing Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, which can make life better for the people affected. For example, a trial may find that a new Alzheimer’s drug has fewer side effects or works better than the drug currently being used. These new solutions can have great importance that range from improving quality of life to saving lives.
- Early access to new solutions – Participation in clinical trials at The CRCNJ gives patients access to potential new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease or related disorders before they become available to the general public. This could be beneficial if your current treatment isn’t working as well as you would like, or you hope you try something new or experimental.
- They are regulated – All clinical trials are conducted by a qualified team of professionals. Experimental treatments and protocols are designed by scientists who may work at a university or a pharmaceutical biotech company. These entities contract with qualified professionals and sites to conduct clinical trials. Clinical trial research is highly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Institutional Review Boards (IRB), with subject safety being of paramount importance.
- Specialized care – Participating in clinical trials provides you with specialized care and experimental treatment at no cost to you. You may have access to a complex diagnostic work up, based on the most current information and technology, such as specialized brain imaging scans (Amyloid and Tau PET), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis, and genetic testing.
- Access to top medical professionals – Participation in a trial at The CRCNJ ensures interaction and follow-up with a group of highly experienced medical professionals, who specialize in Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
- They advance medical knowledge – The information learned during a trial is invaluable. It can help physicians and researchers learn about how Alzheimer’s disease or related disorders affect the body, in turn contributing to the development and improvement of diagnosis, management, or treatment of the disorder. When you participate in one of our clinical trials, the data obtained has the potential to help you and others with the same disease, now and in the future.
- Hope for the future – In some cases, clinical trials offer hope when current treatments aren’t working, or when no effective treatments are available. They can be beneficial for people who don’t have other options. This could be why people who participate in clinical trials have better outcomes than those who don’t, even if they are on placebo. Regardless of whether or not a study volunteer directly benefits from participation, they are providing medical information to help people in the future.
- The most important reason – The first person to be cured of Alzheimer’s disease will be someone who participated in a clinical trial.
Clinical trials continuously aim to advance the medical field by offering better treatments than are currently available, and they follow strict guidelines to ensure that these treatments are safe and effective. By participating in clinical trials, you not only take a proactive approach to your own health, but you help take one step forward to finding a cure.