Learn more about clinical trials
Some dementia research studies take the form of clinical trials. Clinical trials try to figure out how a drug, therapy or behaviour change will impact somebody's health. Here's what to know if you are thinking about joining one.
There are many different types of studies on dementia. Clinical trials are one important type of research study.
The knowledge we gain through clinical research helps improve the ways we can prevent, diagnose and treat disease. When you join a clinical trial, you can be helping to advance dementia research.
At the same time, it's important to make sure a clinical trial is the right choice for you. Here is some more information about clinical trials, and possible reasons for joining them.
What are clinical trials?
Clinical trials use human volunteers to study the effects of an exposure (for example, a drug or behaviour) on a health outcome (for example, blood pressure, symptom relief or improved quality of life).
Clinical trials examine the effects of an experimental intervention, delivered as part of the trial. Interventions can include new drugs, devices, or ways to receive health care, as well as things like changes in behaviour, such as diet and exercise programs.
Risks and benefits of participating in an clinical trial
There are potential risks and benefits to participating in any kind of research. It's important that you understand both before participating in a research study.
- Download our full brochure on participating in research.
- This checklist of questions to ask is meant to help you make the best decision, for you and your family, about participating in research.
- We suggest that you use this sheet to take notes of the details of each clinical research study that interests you.
- Many of these questions will require a detailed conversation with someone working on the study.
- You can also check out Alzheimer's Disease International's guide to getting involved in clinical trials.
Ethical questions and procedures to think about
To protect your dignity, rights, safety and well-being, it is important that researchers adhere to ethical principles.
Research ethics boards are set up to ensure that studies conducted in Canada follow appropriate ethical standards.
A research ethics board requires a researcher to complete a detailed, multi-page form regarding all aspects of the proposed study so that the ethics of the study can be assessed.
For example, a researcher must answer questions about:
- the purpose of the study
- who will lead it
- how it will be conducted
- where and when the study will be implemented
To help ensure the safety of participants, a research study cannot begin until the research ethics board has approved the project.
For more information about ethics and other aspects of clinical trials, please visit www.ClinicalTrials.gov.
Find a study near you
Ready to participate? Find a research study near you using our portal at alzheimer.ca/find-studies.
The portal includes online-only and in-person studies. It also includes opportunities for people living with dementia, carers, family members and others.
The portal is frequently updated with new research opportunities. If you don't find what you are looking for today, check it again soon at alzheimer.ca/find-studies.
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Everyone considering participating in any activity is encouraged to speak with their own doctor or health-care team before participating in any activity that may impact their health or well-being.