Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Black Volunteers Needed, Alzheimer’s Clinical Trial

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Research sites in Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Texas, and New York are now recruiting participants for The Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation® (GAP)’s Bio-Hermes Study – a breakthrough Alzheimer’s clinical trial searching for cost-effective methods to assess the signs of the disease. It is the first-ever Alzheimer’s study to prioritize diversity in its recruitment goals.

Black Americans 65 years and older are three times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than white people. This disparity is likely even greater considering that African Americans are less likely to be diagnosed with the condition and are often misdiagnosed. When they do receive an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, it’s often later in life when treatment options are more limited.

For Black physicians across the country, this worsening public health crisis is particularly concerning. The increased prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in the Black community – two-to-three times the prevalence in white communities – is made worse by the reality that Alzheimer’s risk coincides with other conditions that disproportionately affect Black Americans (such as Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Obesity).

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The Bio-Hermes study is unique in that researchers have committed to holding the trial open until at least 20% of the participants are Black and Latino. This is unheard of in Alzheimer’s research, and medical research more broadly. In fact, the Bio-Hermes goal is 4 times the national average for enrollment from traditionally underserved communities. Just a few months into the study, Bio-Hermes is on track to meet its goal as roughly 18% of current participants are Black and Latino.

The study offers volunteers a study-related brain scan at no cost. PET scans are particularly valuable for the community as they are the gold standard for an Alzheimer’s diagnosis and allow Black Americans to take charge of their own brain health.

Volunteers for the Bio-Hermes study must be between 60-85 years old and have someone who can participate with them as a study partner. The study includes two visits with site staff and one visit to a local imaging site over the course of three months, with the potential for a follow-up phone call (if needed). Free transportation will also be offered to all study participants.

While those with memory concerns are especially encouraged to enroll in the study, healthy folks are encouraged to volunteer as well. Lastly, the study is a great opportunity to get involved in Alzheimer’s research (whether that be to honor a loved one or to learn more about your own health) without subjecting yourself to investigational medicine.

The most important part of the Alzheimer’s research process is YOU. The Bio-Hermes researchers are calling on local seniors in their communities to enroll in the study en masse to help future generations be rid of this disease once and for all. Join Bio-Hermes, and you can play a vital role in improving the health profile of the national Black community.

Read more about the Bio-Hermes study here, and see if there is a site near you:

About the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation® (GAP)
The Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation® (GAP) is a person-centric nonprofit dedicated to accelerating the delivery of innovative therapies for neurological disorders by reducing the duration and cost of clinical trials. Research centers across the US and Canada are part of the growing GAP Network (GAP-Net). GAP supports GAP-Net research centers by assisting with study start-up and recruitment activities, promoting diversity in research studies, and offering national programs that champion brain health and the citizen scientists who make research possible.

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Posted by community events coordinator, Nzinga Lonstein Austin, is a prolific blogger who writes on the entertainment industry and issues for people with developmental and physical challenges.

She is presently in high school looking to have a career in video, film, and media. You can see more of her entertainment writing on Lonstein Movies.

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