UCI researchers announce urgent need for Alzheimer’s clinical trial participants
By OCinSite At-Large
UCI MIND, Orange County’s only state and federally funded Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, is calling on Orange County residents age 65 to 85 who have normal memory function to help in meeting its urgent need for study participants in an active clinical study now underway. The researchers are hoping to find new ways to prevent, slow, and/or stop Alzheimer’s disease before it begins.
“The need for this research is immediate,” explains Dr. Joshua Grill, Co-Director of UCI MIND. “More than 84,000 people in Orange County are now living with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, and this number is going to increase substantially over the next decades. The more rapidly we can fill the need for study volunteers, the sooner we can find ways to prevent this disease through research.”
The current clinical trial for which UCI MIND needs participants is called the “A4 Study.” This study will evaluate whether giving an investigational drug can delay or prevent the onset of cognitive decline from Alzheimer’s disease. The information collected from this study may increase knowledge regarding the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, and help people in the future.
Participants will receive compensation for their time in participating, as well as access to medication that is believed to hold promise as a potential prevention.
“Recruiting participants for studies is the most consistent challenge faced by medical researchers,” according to Grill, who explains that slow recruiting can put the success of trials like the A4 Study at risk.
“Many of the studies we conduct span multiple years, and it can often take two or more years just to get enough people to sign up to participate,” Grill explains. “For this reason, a three or four year study can easily end up taking five or six years, as we have to wait for all participants to complete the study before we can analyze results. Delays like these are hugely detrimental, especially when it comes to an urgent need such as fighting Alzheimer’s.”
To combat this delay, UCI MIND launched an online registry in late 2016, which allows people aged 18 or older to sign up and find out if they are a match for a current or upcoming study.
“People in the registry are not required to participate in a clinical trial, but we need people to register to find out if there are studies for which they might be a fit if they choose to participate,” Grill says. “The fact is, this is how local Orange County residents can help. Joining the registry is an easy, no-strings-attached way to support groundbreaking research right here in our area.”
People interested in joining UCI MIND’s registry can do so at www.c2c.uci.edu.
Those interested in helping to fill the urgent need for participants in the A4 Study can contact Beatriz Yanez, RN at (949) 824-0008 or [email protected].
About UCI MIND (UC Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders)
The UC Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND) is internationally recognized for its research accomplishments in disorders of the brain, particularly those that are age-related.
UCI MIND is the University’s center for aging and dementia research, with its faculty seeking to understand the causes leading to neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Lewy body dementia, and Huntington’s disease.
For those suffering from age-related memory problems, its goal is to develop improved means for effective diagnosis and treatment and to provide help to families and caregivers.
UCI MIND is home to one of 31 Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers funded by the National Institute on Aging, and is one of ten California Alzheimer’s Disease Centers funded by the California Department of Public Health. For more information, please visit www.mind.uci.edu.