Clinical research trials are often targeted specifically at finding treatments, diagnosis methods or other important information about specific diseases or conditions, and one example here is Alzheimer’s disease. This harmful condition, which is known to affect older adults primarily and leads to several memory issues and often related health concerns, is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for upward of 60% of all dementia cases – and worst of all, it’s a condition we’re still learning about in the medical community, and don’t yet have all the answers for.
That’s where clinical trials come in, and at AGA Clinical Trials, we’re set to add new trials to our robust list of clinical research studies – including studies on Alzheimer’s disease to help benefit the growing realm of research in this area. In this two-part blog series, we’ll go over several of the specific types of trials that are generally run when it comes to Alzheimer’s, plus how each of these types of research benefits the field and how each will work if you or anyone you know has signed up for a clinical trial on Alzheimer’s disease.
Treatment Trial Types
The most common and well-known type of clinical study for Alzheimer’s disease is what’s known as a treatment trial, or a study designed to test out new treatments for the condition. Any drug or treatment that makes its way to the public must first go through three phases of clinical trials before it can be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The most common approach here will be testing a new therapy or drug against the best-known current therapy for the disease; if no such existing treatment is currently present, researchers will use a placebo instead.
Within this category, there are two distinct types of treatment trials:
- Reduction of symptoms: These are trials where new drugs or variations are introduced, aiming to reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease for sufferers. These also include studies of existing drugs that look into whether changing the dose, dosage schedule or medication combination might change the results.
- Slowing or stopping the disease: This is a trial where drugs meant to actually slow or stop Alzheimer’s from progressing altogether are studied, including experimental drugs.
In other cases, clinical studies will be focused specifically on finding more accurate ways to diagnose Alzheimer’s, particularly during early stages where diagnosis remains difficult today. Diagnostic studies are a huge part of Alzheimer’s research, allowing medical professionals to not only diagnose people suffering from the disease, but even possibly those who show higher risks before the disease has progressed – which, in turn, allows for improved treatment and tracking.
For more on the value of clinical studies within Alzheimer’s disease research, or to learn about any of our clinical trial services, speak to the staff at AGA Clinical Trials today.