The Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry has reached a significant milestone in the fight against Alzheimer’s by enrolling the 40,000th volunteer interested in participating in major studies of the disease. Championed by Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (BAI) and in collaboration with partnering organisations and leading scientists, the online Registry (www.endALZnow.org) aims to accelerate research by connecting healthy individuals who are committed to preventing Alzheimer’s with scientists carrying out the studies.
“Every person who joins is helping to further research and is bringing us one step closer to unlocking the mysteries of this devastating disease,” says Jessica Langbaum, principal scientist at BAI and associate director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative (API). “We are excited about the momentum of current prevention research, as many studies begin to recruit and the Registry plays a crucial role in overcoming recruitment barriers.”
The Registry is unique in that anyone 18 or older with a passion for combating Alzheimer’s can be linked to researchers seeking a cure or a new treatment. It was created as part of the API, an international collaborative launched in 2011 to accelerate the pace of research.
Alzheimer’s begins developing in the brain long before any symptoms appear – a critical “silent” period during which scientists believe the disease could be slowed or even stopped. But researchers say that cutting-edge research can be delayed, sometimes by years, because of the difficulty of finding sufficient numbers of volunteers. Clinical trials sometimes need to screen tens of thousands of individuals in order to find the hundreds of participants who fit the trial criteria.
As Alzheimer’s remains the only disease among the top 10 causes of death that has no cure or treatment, the Registry is urgently pushing to accelerate the pace of much-needed research by recruitment both in the USA and internationally. Registry members also receive regular updates on the latest scientific advances, and news and information on overall brain health, Langbaum says.