Why it's important to talk to your doctor

Don't just hope for a cure — help us find one.

TrialMatch is a free clinical trials matching service that connects individuals with Alzheimer's, caregivers and healthy volunteers to current research studies.

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When you become part of a clinical trial, you will still receive care from your primary doctor for your overall health. Most trials are only for a limited time and only pertain to the condition being studied.

At your next appointment

The next time you visit your doctor, ask if a clinical trial might be right for you. Your doctor knows both you and your health history, which makes him or her a good resource to talk over whether participating in an Alzheimer's clinical trial might be beneficial. Your doctor can help you gather information and identify what questions might be important to ask before deciding to participate.

Information needed to locate a clinical trial

When using TrialMatch to locate a research study you may be eligible for, it might be helpful to understand several things about your health before answering questions.

What is my clinical diagnosis?

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Mild cognitive impairment (MCI)
  • Dementia not otherwise specified
  • Other dementia (Lewy body/vascular)

What tests were used to diagnose my Alzheimer's or to assess what stage I am in?

  • Cognitive tests
  • Neuroimaging (MRI/CT/PET)
  • No tests have been performed

What Alzheimer's medications do I currently take?

  • Donepezil (Aricept® or Namzaric®)
  • Rivastigmine (Exelon®)
  • Galantamine (Razadine®)
  • Memantine (Namenda®)

Questions to consider before participating

Once you qualify for a trial, you will work closely with the research team to understand the benefits and risks of participation. You may find it helpful to go over the trial information with your doctor before making a final decision and signing an informed consent form with the research team.

The National Institute on Aging suggests asking the trial research team the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of the study?
  • What tests and treatments will be given?
  • What are the risks?
  • What side effects might occur?
  • What may happen with/without this research?
  • Can I continue with treatments for Alzheimer’s and other conditions as prescribed by my regular doctor?
  • How will you keep my doctor informed about my participation in the trial?
  • Does the study compare standard and experimental treatments?
  • How long will the study run?
  • How much of my time is required?
  • Where and when will the testing occur?
  • How much flexibility will I have?
  • How will it affect my activities?
  • If I withdraw, will this affect my normal care?
  • Will I learn the results?
  • Could I receive a placebo?
  • What steps ensure my confidentiality?
  • Are expenses reimbursed?
  • Will I be paid?

Be sure to bring a list of any additional questions you have for the research team. You may want to bring a family member or caregiver with you to help make sure all of your questions are answered.