Recruiting people to participate in Alzheimer's studies is tough. Now, experts have solutions

By Kathy Ritchie
Published: Wednesday, August 24, 2022 - 11:45am

Banner Alzheimer’s Institute
Sky Schaudt/KJZZ
Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix.

Recruiting healthy volunteers as well as those living with Alzheimer’s disease can be challenging. Now, a panel of experts has issued recommendations to improve recruitment efforts. 

Jessica Langbaum is the co-director of the Alzheimer's prevention initiative program at the Banner Alzheimer's Institute. She led this latest effort.

"We as researchers are doing a terrible job at informing the public that there are these research studies to participate in," Langbaum said.

Why is that?

"People might not be going to their medical provider to talk about their memory and thinking problems, or that they have a family history of Alzheimer's disease," said Langbaum. "And then also our studies are just they're time consuming. They take place at major medical centers that not everybody has access to it."

After a two-year process, a panel of experts has issued recommendations to accelerate recruitment for Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials. Their conclusions were published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia, the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association

"So we're really pushing out a few different levels. So of course, public awareness and outreach," said Langbaum. "A lot of groups are also working for with boots on the ground. So getting mobile research units to community health fairs and community fairs that might not have anything to do with health."

Langbaum is also working on another study that is looking at why Latinos, Blacks and males are not participating in research registries and Alzheimer’s studies. 

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