Brain researchers are hoping more Rhode Islanders will enroll in the state’s Alzheimers Disease prevention registry. The goal is to find candidates for clinical trials to find new therapies for Alzheimers.
To develop a new treatment for a disease or a vaccine to prevent one, scientists have to try them out on people. Lots of people. But finding enough of them isn’t always easy. So researchers at several institutions, including Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University, launched a registry to recruit people who might be willing to participate in a clinical trial. Finding ways to stop Alzheimers in its tracks is the tantalizing new goal for many trials, said Lifespan neurologist Peter Snyder.
“Five years ago we weren’t talking about this but now we’re talking about the pre-clinical stage of the disease," said Snyder. "Identifying people at great risk for the disease but long before symptoms begin.”
Snyder and other researchers are looking for people 45 and older who don’t have symptoms, yet. When a study needs participants, registry members get notified right away.
Snyder said more trials are being launched to study treatments that prevent Alzheimers. But they need participants.
“This has to be a partnership," Snyder said. "We need community engagement if we’re going to make progress in finding treatments for the disease. The registry is designed to do that.”
More than 20,000 Rhode Islanders are living with Alzheimers now, and that number is climbing.