September 2018 marks the seventh World Alzheimer’s Month and today, September 17, Novartis, Amgen and Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, in association with Alzheimer’s Disease International, released the results from the largest global survey to date investigating perceptions of Alzheimer’s disease. Findings from the study uncover growing optimism for discovering a remedy for the disease.
Alzheimer’s is the leading cause of dementia, a disease affecting 50 million people worldwide and this number is expected to triple by 2050. The survey of more than 10,000 people across 10 countries revealed that while most adults (62%) are worried that they may develop Alzheimer’s, nearly the same percentage believe a cure will likely be developed in their lifetime (60%).
It also found that 91% believe the solution to tackling diseases lies in medical research and 79% are willing to participate. However, three-quarters (75%) have no idea how to get involved in medical research. In addition, 78% of adults are willing to get genetically tested to identify their potential risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
“At present, there is no cure and limited treatment options for Alzheimer’s, but this survey clearly shows that people are willing to participate in research to help treat and to hopefully find a cure,” said Paola Barbarino, Chief Executive Officer at ADI. “We need to demystify and remove awareness barriers to participation in medical research, making all suitable candidates aware of how they can get involved.”
Worldwide, more than 400 clinical studies are recruiting in Alzheimer’s. However, slow enrollment is a costly and common obstacle that undermines medical research. There is a need for more people to volunteer to advance scientific discovery.
“The results from this survey clearly demonstrate the need to raise awareness about clinical studies globally,” said Pierre N. Tariot, MD, director of BAI and co-director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative. “Aside from funding, the greatest challenge in finding a way to treat, slow, or prevent Alzheimer’s is the recruitment and retention of study participants. Scientists are making great progress in the fight against this disease, but an estimated 80% of studies fail to meet recruitment goals on time, which delays critically important research.”
This World Alzheimer’s Month, Novartis, Amgen, BAI and ADI are raising awareness about how volunteers can take part in clinical studies to benefit Alzheimer’s research, potentially for themselves and future generations. Novartis, Amgen and BAI are sponsors of the API’s Generation Program, which is evaluating investigational treatments to help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s. The program is enrolling volunteers aged 60-75 who are at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s but do not currently have or show signs of the disease. Information can be found at www.generationprogram.com.