Without a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, about 13.2 million older Americans are expected to develop this disease by 2050. Researchers are making strides to understand the disease and test better treatments, but at least 50,000 volunteers (with and without Alzheimer’s) are needed to participate in hundreds of clinical trials. People with Alzheimer’s disease, their families, and those who serve them rarely know how to participate in clinical trials, so recruiting research participants is costly and time consuming. This innovation bridges this critical gap.
Connecting to Combat Alzheimer’s brings together National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Centers (ADCs) that conduct research with the Administration for Community Living’s (ACL) aging services agencies, which annually reach over 10 million older people and family caregivers. With the National Alzheimer’s Plan as a spark, ACL and NIH collaborated across disciplines and learned about each other’s work. Activities have included free webinars and presentations for both the research and aging services communities. The Initiative has helped inform and connect more individuals to the services provided by ACL and help spur a 25 percent increase in prospective research participants. These efforts continue to inspire collaborations at the state, local, and grassroots levels.