Low interest and a lack of diversity among study participants hinders research into one of America’s most fatal and costly chronic diseases

March 9, 2018 By Jude

Finding enough people to participate in clinical laboratory trials for Alzheimer’s disease can be a daunting task for researchers. The shortage of participants has compelled scientists to develop innovative ways to locate volunteers for their studies. That includes “Swab-a-Palooza” events to make it easy for individuals to provide samples for this research and get speedy feedback about their ApoE.

“It’s all about recruitment now,” Stephen Salloway, MD, Director of Neurology and the Memory and Aging Program at Butler Hospital in Providence, R.I., and Professor of Clinical Neurosciences and Psychiatry at Brown Medical School, said in an article on the Biomedical Research Forum(BRF) website.

Some researchers are hunting online and offering free genetic testing to interested individuals to ensure they obtain the number of participants needed for their trials. Both the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry (APR) and the Brain Health Registry (BHR) are using the Internet to compile listings of suitable participants.

The APR is dedicated to uniting Alzheimer’s researchers with individuals interested in participating in clinical trials. The Phoenix-based non-profit organization also educates the public on Alzheimer’s and prevention of the disease. The Brain Health Registry is a web-based research study led by medical researchers at the University of California, San Francisco. Participants complete online questionnaires and tests that provide researchers with information regarding an individual’s health, lifestyle, and cognitive function. The collected data is used to create a listing of potential participants for Alzheimer’s studies.

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