September is Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, and at Worldwide Clinical Trials, we are reflecting on why we fight to find a cure. But we also are assessing the challenges that remain and articulating strategies for further progress in Alzheimer’s disease research.
By The Editors of Talking Trials
Identifying the Many Faces of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s Disease International has identified that 47 million individuals globally are currently suffering some form of dementia, and that number is increasing. The Alzheimer’s Association has estimated that 60-80% of those suffering dementia have been diagnosed specifically with Alzheimer’s disease. The paradox is that as knowledge about Alzheimer’s disease has increased so have the complexities associated with conducting successful Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials. Challenges to clinical study success include the complex pathogenesis and multifactorial etiology of the disease. In effect, what was once considered a single disease is now understood to be a spectrum of distinct but related conditions that each have specific biomarkers.
From OBS to Alzheimer’s Disease
Worldwide Clinical Trials has been conducting Alzheimer’s disease clinical research since before the condition was known by that name. In the 1970s, according to Worldwide’s Chief Medical and Scientific Officer Dr. Michael Murphy, the recognized dementia-related condition was identified as organic brain syndrome (OBS), whose only differentiators were the labels “chronic” or “acute,” identified by cognitive symptoms. Decades of research have resulted in the more recent establishment of a system of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease based on biomarkers rather than on symptoms. Thus, while there now exists a variety of conditions on the spectrum identified as Alzheimer’s disease, there are also more precise methods for assessing and identifying these conditions through biological rather than symptomatic indicators. Although the disease is now seen to be more complex, the means by which it can be recognized and assessed have become more reliable.
The Value of Strategic Partnerships in Alzheimer’s Disease Research
At Worldwide Clinical Trials, our long history in the field has given us particular insight into the importance of strategic partnerships in Alzheimer’s disease research. We recognize that the patient’s caregivers are a key partner in the study process, as they can provide valuable insights and an added level of support for patient compliance. On the clinical side, we are committed to patient centricity, and we go further: we recognize the value of augmenting the patient experience with a robust engagement with study site personnel. This balanced attention to the experiences of both patient and researcher during the clinical process informs our best strategies for clinical trial design and execution.
The Uncommon Tenacity of Worldwide Clinical Trials
Moving research forward in this field requires a CRO with a long history in the execution of Alzheimer’s disease clinical studies with a global network of patients and medical research professionals contributing the necessary manpower and medical data. A successful clinical study requires a CRO with the ability to harness its vast learnings to effectively identify and recruit suitable test subjects and with the agility to adapt within the study process while maintaining adherence to best practices, timelines, and budget.
With four decades of experience in the field of Alzheimer’s disease research, Worldwide Clinical Trials has demonstrated uncommon tenacity in our progress toward knowledge. From our first achievements using cholinesterase inhibitors as a cognitive therapeutic in the late 1970s, our lessons learned have given us a particular foresight that enables us to achieve high success rates in subject screenings through proactive recognition of factors that would contribute to unsuitable candidates. Our broad geographic reach, with activities in more than 60 countries worldwide, gives us access to a huge reservoir of potential patients and research professionals upon which to build robust studies.
Learn more about how our uncommon tenacity makes us the definitive CRO for Alzheimer’s disease research.
WATCH THE VIDEO — Alzheimer’s Disease: We’re Not About to Give Up Now
In this insightful video, Dr. Michael Murphy, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer at Worldwide Clinical Trials, discusses the complexities in evaluating patients and implementing study design features for Alzheimer’s disease trials to mitigate risks and challenges.
GET THE EBOOK — 10 Steps to Better Alzheimer’s Disease Research
Worldwide Clinical Trials is proud to offer this definitive guide to planning a clinical study in Alzheimer’s disease. Prepared by our team of professionals, this info-rich resource draws on Worldwide’s four decades of contributions to Alzheimer’s research.