Written by Active Minds on Wednesday the 4th of November 2015.
When living with dementia, it can be helpful to learn as much as you can about the condition and a great way of doing this is by taking part in clinical trials. Clinical trials are essential to dementia research and often need the help of both those living with the condition and the people caring for them.
If you think you might be interested in taking part in a clinical trial, it’s important to get an idea of what sort of trials and research you might be able to get involved in.
Exploring the links between genes and dementia is crucial to understanding how conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s work. If you take part in genetic testing you will most likely be asked to submit a blood sample and partake in memory tests.
Care research is all about understanding, developing, and improving dementia care experiences for both those living with the condition and for carers themselves. This might take the form of a survey or an interview about your experiences in caring or being cared for.
Although clinical trials can involve testing new treatments, they don’t always involve medication. It is also possible to take part in trials for new therapies or new services.
Lots of people take part in clinical trials because it’s a chance to experience new treatments that might not otherwise be available to them. However there are other positives to taking part; you’ll also get the chance to learn more about the condition, have your own health monitored more carefully, and potentially help make a difference to the lives of other people living with dementia now or in the future.
That’s not to say taking part is right for everyone. Some trials (such as surveys or interviews) can be carried out from home, either over the phone or online. However some trials will require travelling to a clinic or hospital, which might not always be possible or desirable. Testing might also provide unnecessary stress and confusion for those in the later stages of dementia.
Plenty of dementia clinical trials can be found online, for instance at Join Dementia Research. Simply sign up to find out which options might be available to you.