We need help! Volunteering for Alzheimer’s Research Can Create Opportunities for All.

Contributed by Dr. Robert Stern, BU ADC Clinical Core Director and Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at BU School of Medicine. This blog entry was modified from an article in the BU ADC Newsletter (Fall 2011).

Recently, I wrote about the health crisis of Alzheimer’s disease and encouraged you to volunteer for an Alzheimer’s disease research project. Here is more information about becoming a volunteer.

At the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center, there are studies for just about anyone. Current research includes:

  • clinical trials to test new treatments for those with Alzheimer’s disease
  • studies looking at new methods of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease
  • studies looking at the relationship between heart functioning and healthy brain aging
  • studies about driving
  • studies focusing on the caregiver
  • our flagship study, the Health Outreach Program for the Elderly (HOPE) involves an annual half day evaluation and is open to cognitively healthy individuals, and those with MCI or dementia. It offers participants and their doctors feedback and facilitates a participant’s involvement in other research studies.

There are research studies to meet the interests of most people. If there is not an appropriate study available today, new studies will be coming soon.

We often hear reluctance about coming to Boston and a large medical center because of driving in city traffic, distance or cost. Many research studies at the BU ADC provide transportation for participants and study partners at zero cost. Some, like the HOPE study, sees participants at our sites in Bedford, Weymouth and Boston. Travel issues or other concerns should not deter someone from making a difference.

Participation in research is not only altruistic, it yields greater potential of positive treatment outcomes with a new investigational drug or other intervention. Moreover, by interacting with research staff members who truly understand the disease, the caregiver and family members know they are not alone. Research participation fulfills the most important need for everyone touched by the disease: a sense of HOPE. In fact, participating in research can almost be seen as treatment, in that the potential benefits can improve quality of life for the patient and caregiver alike.
Just ONE new research volunteer makes a tremendous difference in our mission. Every new volunteer matters a great deal.In order for us to make strides in our goal of developing successful treatments for AD we need your help. Please think about volunteering! We need your help!