July 12, 2010
The Alzheimer's Association is unveiling a new matching service to help connect patients with potential treatments. The new Trial-Match program will work much like an online dating service. Patients will plug in information about their diagnosis and treatment history, and the program will match them with clinical trials happening in their area.
There are currently as many as 5.3 million Americans living with Alzheimer's, and someone develops the disease every 70 seconds. Officials say that's exactly why there's a need for the Trial-Match program. They say the new service is unlike any other that's being offered.
"We've narrowed it down for you, so if you go to the website or if you give us a call, you're only going to be matched with trials that pertain to Alzheimer's disease," said Sue Friedman, President and CEO of the Central and West Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.
Officials agree that recruiting and retaining participants for clinical studies is one of the greatest obstacles to developing the next generation of treatments. Currently, only one percent of eligible participants are enrolling in trials.
If patients or family members are not comfortable using the Trial-Match website, they can always use the phone service by calling 800-272-3900. The phone service will connect you with an Alzheimer's Association representative who will walk you through the website.