Information about Alzheimer's Diseae & Joining a Clinical Trial

If you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, you may have the option of enrolling in a clinical trial that is testing the effectiveness of a new treatment. This could be beneficial, especially since the available Alzheimer's therapies have limited effectiveness.

For reasons that are not entirely clear, research has found that people with Alzheimer's disease who participate in a clinical trial are less likely to be placed in a nursing home than those who are not part of a clinical trial. In one study, only 17% of individuals with Alzheimer's enrolled in clinical trials entered nursing homes over a 3.5-year period, compared with 37% of those who were eligible for trial participation but did not participate and 32% of those who did not qualify to join a trial.

The delay in nursing home admission may be a direct benefit from the drug being studied or the result of being cared for by a caregiver with improved coping skills acquired during contact with medical personnel during the study. It could also serve as an indicator that people who enroll in trials may have fewer behavior problems or are more affluent and can obtain better care.

Publication Review By: Peter V. Rabins, M.D., M.P.H.

Published: 14 Mar 2011

Last Modified: 23 Jun 2011