It can take many years for a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease to work its way from the laboratory, through rigorous testing and, finally, to become approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Learn more about the process and how clinical trials work.
How Clinical Trials Work
Clinical trials are used to determine the safety and effectiveness of the drug on progressively larger numbers of people. Researchers rely on volunteers to bring their research closer to their ultimate goal of providing the public with better options to manage their conditions. Typically there are three phases of clinical testing, each with a specific purpose in determining the safety of a treatment for use by the public. If the results are positive in the first two phases, the therapy will proceed to Phase III. The data gathering, analysis, and reporting that are necessary to complete these trials can take several years.
Participating in a Clinical Trial
Both those with Alzheimer’s disease and healthy individuals may consider participating in clinical trials. Each trial has its own protocol or set of guidelines, and volunteers must meet certain criteria to qualify for inclusion. Before making a decision, get as much information as possible about the trials and think seriously benefits and risks of volunteering. Those who participate are helping others with Alzheimer’s disease by taking these experimental treatments, and they may have access to medical care. However, there may be side effects, or the treatments may not be effective, and participation will require a time commitment.
Search for Clinical Trials
Antidote is a third-party application that allows you to search for clinical trials. It is not affiliated with, or endorsed by, the BrightFocus Foundation or our website. Please see our disclaimer related to third-party sites for more information.
The following resources contain information on clinical trials:
Antidote. Antidote helps you discover new treatment options being developed by medical researchers. They put technology to work so that by answering a few health questions, their smart search engine quickly and easily finds a trial that’s right for you.
Clinicaltrials.gov. An online registry and results database hosted by National Institutes of Health (NIH) that lists all publicly and privately supported clinical studies being conducted with human participants around the world. Follow prompts to look for active clinical trials located near you for a specific medical condition.
National Institutes of Health (NIH). Provides information on government-sponsored human trials and recruitment, with locations, purpose, eligibility requirements, and phone contacts.
- National Institute on Aging (NIA)
- National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
They also provide information on health registries:
ResearchMatch. This free and secure registry brings together people who are trying to find research studies, and researchers who are looking for people to participate in their studies.
- View or download Clinical Trials: Your Questions Answered (Publication)
This content was last updated on: July 27, 2016
The information provided is a public service of the BrightFocus Foundation and is not intended to constitute medical advice. It should not in any way substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional. Please consult your physician for personalized medical advice; all medications and supplements should only be taken under medical supervision. BrightFocus Foundation does not endorse any medical product or therapy.