New research gives insight into addressing diversity in Alzheimer's clinical trials - Alzheimer's Society comments

New research presented today (Thursday 29th July) at Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC), held in Denver, USA, showed that a significant hurdle in Alzheimer’s disease research is the recruitment of traditionally underrepresented groups in clinical trials.

Researchers shared new evidence-based insights into why people from communities of colour do and do not choose to participate in clinical trials.

The research found finds that Black, Latino and African Indian respondents were significantly more likely to volunteer if asked by a person of the same race. It was also shown that clinical trial exclusion criteria have the potential to disproportionately affect African Americans and Hispanics. 

The National Institute on Aging also launched an online tool at the conference, to help researchers and clinicians increase awareness and participation in clinical trials for dementia, especially among underrepresented communities.

Dr Richard Oakley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society said: 

‘Every three minutes, someone develops dementia. We owe it to all of them to understand their condition better and to develop new treatments– to do that we need a diverse group of people with dementia taking part in research and this study highlights just some of the barriers. 

‘Crucially, we also need to make sure that people from ethnic minority communities receive a dementia diagnosis in the first place, which sadly we know is often delayed or doesn’t happen at all due to lack of awareness of the condition.

‘An integrated care system that tackles issues in dementia services and the community would do much to improve access to diagnostic services for communities who may feel cut off from them.

‘There are also initiatives like Join Dementia Research, an online service matching people with dementia studies which we support, aiming to involve far more people in research. We need clinicians to really get behind this and offer research opportunities to people affected too, either at their own institutions or through Join Dementia Research.’

Join Dementia Research

Join Dementia Research is a UK-based service that allows people to register their interest in taking part in dementia research. 

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