If you have a loved one with dementia, or you suspect you may be at risk of getting a degenerative condition such as Alzheimer's disease, there is no time to waste. The good news is that you can potentially help to speed up the diagnoses, treatments and perhaps even a cure for Alzheimer's.
Today, some 5 million people suffer from Alzheimer's, which is a progressively debilitating condition that causes loss of memory, among other things. More frightening, the numbers of people suffering is soaring. It's estimated that without a groundbreaking development to cure or treat Alzheimer's, the number of people suffering will increase to 13 million by 2050.
There is hope, though, and you may be able to help. The web-based Alzheimer's Association TrialMatch is a matching service that connects Alzheimer's patients to clinical trials that are underway or getting underway. These trials are working to find ways to prevent, treat and possibly cure the disease.
Already, TrialMatch has matched 87,000 Alzheimer's patients to clinical trials. To participate, you must have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's or related dementia. It's also open to families and caregivers of Alzheimer's patients.
Here's how it works. You or a family member sets up a profile of you with TrialMatch. Their database is continually updated. If a trial or test begins and they're looking for patients that match your criteria, they will contact you to participate.
Clinical trial participants sometimes get access to treatments for diseases that aren't available to the general public. Often, there's no cost to participate.
The idea is that the faster people find trials, the faster research can be conducted to find treatments and cures. There is no shortage of opportunities to participate, but many people have already registered. In fact, 150,000 people have so far registered for Alzheimer's clinical trials.
Will you be next? The need is great. Currently, TrialMatch is matching people with Alzheimer's and related conditions with 700 clinical trials and some 200 research studies.
To participate, call TrialMatch at (800) 272-3900 or visit Alz.org/TrialMatch.