Clinical trials determine if a promising Alzheimer’s disease (AD) treatment is safe and effective for patients, and can be approved by the FDA. These trials may evaluate drugs already approved for other diseases to assess if the drug may be useful for Alzheimer’s disease. They may also evaluate new experimental drugs derived from drug discovery to determine if they improve cognitive function, lessen symptoms, slow disease progression of AD or even prevent it.
Experimental drug trials are conducted in three phases. Phase I trials are conducted with a small number of volunteers over a short period of time to determine safety. Phase II and III trials involve larger numbers of people over longer periods of time to study safety and effectiveness.
It is important for patients and family members to understand as much about a trial as possible before volunteering.
To learn more about clinical trials, visit the NIH/FDA database at http://clinicaltrials.gov. You can sign up for e-mail alerts on new clinical trials as they are added to the database.