A clinical trial is a research study with a step-by-step process to test a new procedure, drug, vaccine or device for prevention, treatment, screening or improving quality of life. The purpose of clinical trials is research, so the studies follow strict scientific standards. These standards protect patients and help produce reliable study results. Clinical trials are one of the final stages of a long and careful research process. The process often begins in a laboratory (lab), where scientists first develop and test new ideas.
Clinical trials are fundamental in the search for a cure for Alzheimer’s, as doctors and researchers learn what works and doesn’t work in the treatment of the disease. Does one drug work better than another? Does the drug improve the health and quality of life of Alzheimer’s patients in various stages of the disease? Perhaps most importantly, is the drug revealing any harmful side effects?
The success of the Clinical Trials process requires the enrollment of many volunteer participants. All clinical trials have guidelines about who can and cannot participate that are based on the objectives of the trial. Participation criteria may be based on such factors as age, gender, the type and stage of a disease, previous treatment history, and other medical conditions.
There are many benefits of volunteering for clinical research. One important benefit is that you will be helping others, including perhaps members of your own family and future generations who may be at risk for developing Alzheimer’s. In addition, participating in research provides:
- The opportunity to be one of the first to receive a new drug or treatment before it is made available to the general public
- Specialized and focused care from doctors and research professionals conducting the trial
- Possibility of receiving free health screenings and exams.
Alzheimer’s New Jersey’s Clinical Trial Connections program provides assistance to individuals and families who may be interested in participating in clinical trials. There are many trial sites in New Jersey and the surrounding area. If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial, we have an online assessment tool that will help you determine if clinical trials are right for you. In addition, you can search for clinical trials that are currently enrolling participants with our online matching tool. If you have questions or need more information, please call (973) 586-4300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.