A clinical drug trial is a research study conducted to find out if a new drug or treatment strategy is safe and effective for use in human subjects. Some clinical trials study new drugs or procedures that are not currently available to the public. Other trials study existing drugs that are used in other medical conditions to help determine if they are also helpful in dementia.
Rapid advances in our knowledge about Alzheimer's have led to the development of many experimental drugs and potential treatments. However, before these new treatments can be adopted, they must be shown to work in patients. Currently, only five drugs have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in people with Alzheimer’s disease. While these drugs may help to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's, they do not attack the root cause of the disease. More research is needed for scientists to develop treatment strategies aimed at finding a cure or preventing Alzheimer's altogether.
In most clinical trials, participants are randomly assigned to a study group. One group, the test group, receives the experimental drug. Other groups may receive a different drug or a placebo, an inactive substance that looks like the study drug. In most trials, no one – not even the study team – knows who is getting the experimental drug and who is getting the placebo. This procedure is called “masking” or “blinding,” and is done to increase the accuracy of the trial by eliminating some of the possible biases. At the conclusion of the study, participants are told to which group they were assigned. In many trials, people who were assigned to the placebo group may have an opportunity to receive the experimental drug if they choose.
Participating in a clinical trial is a big step. Individuals and their families should carefully consider all of the possible benefits and risks before agreeing to participate. If participants change their minds at any time during the trial, they can drop out.
For more information on clinical drug trails, please contact Joanne Lord, 734- 647-7760 or email@example.com.
Please consider participating in one of the following currently enrolling studies.
Information on Alzheimer's disease studies can also be found on the University of Michigan Clinical Studies website.