COVID-19 delivers a blow to dementia clinical trials
With patient safety in mind, researchers are innovating their study designs to reduce or even eliminate contact with patients. Many studies have moved to remote methods for staying in contact, ranging from hi-tech video conferencing to low tech phone calls and postcards. Some studies have even moved to delivering medication directly to study participants. Despite the rapidly deploying protocol changes, some studies have no option other than to be put on hold with an unknown reactivation date. Research staff are also finding themselves in a changing environment. Many staff members have been relocated to their homes to work remotely, often focusing on data analysis and document preparation, while others find themselves in other areas of their health center, potentially screening patients and employees for signs of COVID-19. As the pandemic stretches on, the damage on research compounds, and the ability of some trials to bounce back grows smaller. Read more about the impact of the pandemic on dementia research here.
NIA publishes common questions about participating in Alzheimer’s and related dementias research
While some research operations have been suspended due to the current COVID-19 crisis, there are still many types of research that continue, and there are many researchers that will be queuing up interested participants for when their research re-launches. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) has published a short motivation video and a web page answering many common questions about participating in research, including how to find research opportunities. Watch and share the video below, and access the NIA’s FAQ page here.
What’s Happening in the Alzheimer’s Field?
New guidance for care communities during COVID-19 crisis
The Alzheimer’s Association released new guidance for long-term and community-based care settings which identifies important care considerations and incorporates evidence-based strategies from the Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Recommendations to assist staff during emergency situations. The guidance includes tips on preventing illness, providing person-centersd care, helping families and friends stay connected, and monitoring and responding to dementia related issues during the current environment. Access the official document here.
A Review of Care Interventions for People With Dementia (PWD) and Their Caregivers
NIA recently embarked on a collaboration with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) to understand the evidence base for care interventions for people with dementia (PWD) and their caregivers. AHRQ reviewed hundreds of social care trials, but ultimately concluded there is still not enough evidence to draw strong conclusions about the effects of most of the interventions. Therefore, there remains an overwhelming need for non-pharmacological, social care trials for which Recruitment Partners is positioned to support throughout the United States and abroad. Read more about the review here and participate in the opportunity for public comment through April 21th here.
A new Cognitive Empowerment Program for MCI
Emory University’s Brain Health Center and the Georgia Institute of Technology have partnered to open a new center focused on empowering people living with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Participants with MCI and their care partners visit the center to take part in a range of classes and to access resources, including a “tech bar” to help troubleshoot mobile devices. Activities help keep the participants’ brains and bodies sharp, while supporting continued cognitive research. The program also serves as a living laboratory for many researchers and students, providing the opportunity to observe and interact with participants in a casual setting. Learn more about this innovative program here.
Aspirin does not lower dementia risk
While aspirin is a standard tool in the fight against heart disease, a recent study finds daily aspirin provides no safe guards against developing dementia. Researchers in Australia followed 19,000 healthy seniors for 5 years. The rate at which the participants developed dementia was no different for the group which received placebo or the group who received aspirin. Read more about the study here.
Who We Are & What We Do
Recruitment Partners’ mission is to increase education & access to Alzheimer’s research. We recognize the importance of partnering with the individual’s care providers to meaningfully and successfully engage them in research. We have experience working with adult day health centers & long term care communities to help individuals with AD and their caregivers learn more about the research available in their community, and build a bridge for participation. Join our network! Email us today!