Alzheimer's trials losing numbers game, study says

Share this article:

A new study has determined people with Alzheimer's disease are less likely to participate in clinical trials without a spouse caregiver.

Alzheimer's trials can struggle to get participants and require patients with a reliable study partner to enroll together. The findings revealed that additional recruitment and retention strategies may be required to increase enrollment of AD patients with non-spousal caregivers.

The results showed spouses accompanied two-thirds of Alzheimer's clinical trial participants. That contrasts with the national average, which shows 68% of Alzheimer's sufferers receive primary care from their children, children-in-law or grandchildren. The study found AD trial participants with a non-spouse or adult child were more likely to drop out before the study was completed and had a higher risk for a serious adverse event during the trial.

Demographics may be relevant to clinical trial designs. Only 5% of trial participants were Hispanic; they were also twice as likely to have an adult child study partner compared to a spouse. African-Americans made up 6% of participants and were three times as likely to have adult child study partners. The ratio of men and women with AD were similar, but most had female study partners/caregivers.

"This result is a call to action. Non-spousal caregivers and the patients they care for represent an untapped opportunity to increase recruitment into Alzheimer's clinical trials and to assure that the research results reflect the broad community of patients and their caregivers," said senior study author Jason Karlawish, M.D., co-director of the Penn Memory Center and professor of Medicine, Medical Ethics and Health Policy in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

The findings were published in the Wednesday edition of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The research team included members from the University of Pennsylvania, UCLA and the University of California, San Diego.

Share this article:

More in News

Nursing home did not warn worker who was taken hostage in active ...

A nurse at a Life Care Centers of America facility in Colorado was not notified that she would be threatened and taken hostage by a gunman as part of an active shooter drill, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

Revisions to False Claims Act urged by former deputy AG

A panel of witnesses debated the merits of the False Claims Act before a Judiciary subcommittee meeting Wednesday, with one former attorney general arguing current policy provokes unfair litigation and "coercive" settlements.

Medicare SNF rate finalized, reimbursements to increase by $750 million next year

Medicare SNF rate finalized, reimbursements to increase by ...

Medicare skilled nursing facility reimbursements will increase by $750 million next year under a final payment rule announced Thursday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.