Almost everyone has heard of Alzheimer’s. What most people do know about the disease is that the person living with the disease has difficulty remembering names, events, or recent conversations. They might know that later symptoms can include poor judgment, unusual behavior, and impaired communication.
However, did you know that sometimes unrelated conditions cause similar symptoms to dementia? These conditions are usually treatable, and include depression, thyroid problems, excessive alcohol use, medication side effects, and delirium. If your loved one is showing any of these signs, please consider discussing this with your physician before jumping to the conclusion that they have Alzheimer’s or dementia.
You also might not know that you don’t need a family history of Alzheimer’s to contract the disease yourself. But people with a sister, brother, or parent who has Alzheimer’s are more likely to develop the condition. The University of Iowa has research studies available for families to participate in at no cost to them.
Individuals can connect to Alzheimer’s studies at the University of Iowa and in other locations through the Alzheimer’s Association’s TrialMatch program at www.alz.org/TrialMatch. TrialMatch is a free, easy-to-use matching service that connects individuals with Alzheimer's, caregivers, healthy volunteers and physicians to more than 225 research studies across the country.
The Alzheimer's Association created TrialMatch because recruiting and retaining participants for clinical studies is one of the greatest obstacles to developing the next generation of Alzheimer treatments. The immediate need for advances in diagnosis, treatment and prevention has led to an unprecedented call for clinical study participants. “By volunteering for clinical studies, people with Alzheimer's and their caregivers can play a more active role in their own treatment while also contributing to scientific discovery that benefits future generations,” states Melissa Pence, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association East Central Iowa Chapter. “As individuals become more knowledgeable and curious about Alzheimer's research, having a program like TrialMatch is critical to achieving our vision of a world without Alzheimer's disease.”
If you want to help this cause, through your generosity and funds raised through special events such as the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the Alzheimer’s Association East Central Iowa Chapter is able to contribute monetarily toward advancements in research in addition to providing programs and services to area families.