Why it's important to talk to your doctor
When you become part of a clinical trial, you will still receive care from your primary doctor for your overall health. Most trials are only for a limited time and only pertain to the condition being studied.
At your next appointment
The next time you visit your doctor, ask if a clinical trial might be right for you. Your doctor knows both you and your health history, which makes him or her a good resource to talk over whether participating in an Alzheimer's clinical trial might be beneficial. Your doctor can help you gather the information needed to locate a trial and help you identify what questions might be important to ask before deciding to participate.
Print a brochure to take to your doctor
Information needed to locate a trial
In order to locate clinical trials that you may be eligible for, you'll need to know several things about your health. For those living with dementia, go over the following questions with your doctor:
1. What is my clinical diagnosis?
- Mild Alzheimer's
- Moderate Alzheimer's
- Severe Alzheimer's
- Mild cognitive impairment
- Dementia not otherwise specified
- Other dementia (Vascular/Lewy Body)
2. What tests were used to diagnose my Alzheimer's or to assess what stage I am in?
- Brain scan
- Measurement of memory/brain skills
- Stroke scale
- No tests have been performed
3. What Alzheimer's medications do I currently take?
- Aricept® (Donepezil)/Razadyne® (Galantamine)/Exelon® (Rivastigmine)
- Namenda® (Memantine)
4. Do I have other health conditions in addition to Alzheimer's disease?
- Mood disorder (depression/bipolar disorder)
- Significant neurological disease other than Alzheimer's
Use this information to locate trials you may be eligible for using Alzheimer's Association TrialMatch®.
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Questions to consider before participating
Once you qualify for a trial, you will be working closely with the trial research team to understand the benefits and risks of participating before making a final decision and signing an informed consent form. You will undergo this process with the people conducting the study, but you may find it helpful to go over the answers with your doctor before making a final decision.
The National Institute on Aging suggests asking the trial research team the following questions:
- What is the purpose of the study?
- What tests and treatments will be given?
- What are the risks?
- What side effects might occur?
- What may happen with/without this research?
- Can I continue with treatments for Alzheimer's and other conditions as prescribed by my regular doctor?
- How will you keep my doctor informed about my participation in the trial?
- Does the study compare standard and experimental treatments?
- How long will it last? How much time will it take?
- Where and when will the testing occur?
- How much flexibility will I have?
- How will it affect my activities?
- If I withdraw, will this affect my normal care?
- Will I learn the results?
- Could I receive a placebo?
- What steps ensure my confidentiality?
- Are expenses reimbursed?
- Will I be paid?
Make sure to ask the research team any additional questions you have. You may want to bring a family member or caregiver with you to help make sure all of your questions are answered.
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