Clinical Trials for Dementia Research – How Do They Work?

Dementia can be a devastating disease that can not only be difficult for the victim but also for their family as well. This brain disease causes long term loss of the ability to think and reason clearly and it severely affects a person’s daily functioning. Usually the affected areas include language, visual-spatial, memory, attention and problem solving.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia but other forms include Lewy body dementia, progressive supranuclear palsy and vascular dementia. At the moment there is no cure for dementia and it is becoming more common as more people are living longer. The disease is slow and progressive, getting gradually worse over the years. Additional problems include depression, agitation, balance problems, tremors, wandering or restlessness, difficulty speaking.

A hope for the future of dementia sufferers exists in the form of clinical trials that will test innovative drugs. There are a number of new medicines that are currently being tested in medical trials all over the UK and many more are scheduled for the future. Some new medications offer a cure, while others offer at least a means of reducing symptoms and slowing down the progression of the disease.

Many doctors think that the drugs that are being tested in these dementia clinical trials will be able to reduce the symptoms and progression of Alzheimer’s patients – so that sufferers can remain independent for longer.

How Do Medical Trials for Dementia Work?

When you are testing an experimental drug or a medical procedure it is usually a very lengthy process that lasts several years. There are a number of stages that the trial needs to go through before it reaches a conclusion.

The first step is pre-clinical testing which involves laboratory studies and tests on animals. However, there is no animal that is close enough to humans that it would substitute the need to test on humans. This is when clinical trials on humans must begin- which are divided into three main phases.

Phase 1 Clinical Trials

The first phase of a clinical trial is primarily focused on making sure that the drug is safe. This is usually a small scale trial that will involve healthy subjects. Its goal is to ensure that the drug doesn’t have any nasty side effects and to figure out the safest dosage range. This initial phase of the trial will also determine how the body reacts to the drug and how it is absorbed, distributed and eliminated once it has been processed by the body.

Phase 2 Clinical Trials

Once the dementia drug has undergone the first phase of the trial and it is determined to be safe when tested on healthy individuals, the second step can begin. This part of the trial is when the researchers figure out whether or not the drug is effective at treating dementia.

These types of trials usually have different groups of subjects, some of whom are given the medicine and others who are given a placebo or the currently employed means of treating the disease. The control groups are used to determine whether or not the new dementia drug is more or less effective at treating the disease.

Phase 3 Clinical Trials

The Phase 3 trial is the last step before the new drug is released to the public and is clinically approved. If a drug reaches this stage there will be a lot of solid evidence that it is safe and efficient in treating the condition that it was developed for. It is important that the drug goes through all of these steps before it is approved and released onto the market in order to ensure it is safe and effective.

The Lengthy Process of a Clinical Trial for Dementia Research

It takes approximately 20 years and many millions of pounds to develop a new drug for dementia from scratch. However, when volunteers sign up for medical trials and make it easier for the researchers to learn more about the drug and the disease – these treatments can be developed faster. These volunteers can bring a lot of hope to people who are suffering from dementia and the family members and loved ones that care about them.

If you are looking to get involved in a dementia treatment medical trial, you might want to consider looking into MAC Clinical Researchand the options that are available. With a quick online search you will be able to find relevant clinical trials in your area that you can participate in.