Why Isn’t Alzheimer’s Research Keeping Up with the Disease?

Alzheimer’s is the only top 10 killer disease in the U.S. that cannot be prevented, cured or even treated effectively over time. One big barrier: there are not enough volunteers for experimental drug trials for Alzheimer’s disease.

Exhibit A is the desperate need for more volunteers for the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative or ADNI. ADNI is a joint public-private consortium of scientists, the largest and most comprehensive Alzheimer’s research venture of its kind. ADNI is helping to identify the earliest signs of the disease and its successes are bringing us closer to when we might truly change the course and outcome of Alzheimer’s dementia. To keep the momentum going, ADNI needs everyday citizens – patients, potential patients, their family members and caregivers – to spread the word. We all can contribute to furthering research – no medical degree required. Researchers are looking for volunteers ages 55 to 90 who have no outward symptoms, as well as patients with AD, and individuals with mild memory or cognitive difficulties, in order to better understand the disease in its earliest stages. Since November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, I encourage you to raise awareness in your community about the importance of supporting and participating in clinical trials like ADNI. Just about all of us have been touched by Alzheimer’s: in our families and our communities, either through patients, people at risk, or caregivers. Even better, consider volunteering in an ADNI trial near you. It will take everyone’s involvement – researchers and clinicians, doctors, patients, friends and family members, and trial participants – to fight this disease effectively. To learn more, go to www.adni-info.org or call 1-800-432-4380.