Alzheimer’s Care Seattle WA: Should I Let My Parents Participate In Clinical Drug Trials?
“My Mom has been interested in science and medicine for her whole life. That’s what drove her to become a RN – she was the first woman in our family to graduate from college! – and she worked in the ICU for over 15 years.” Jeannie beamed with pride as she discussed her mother, Linda. “After she retired, everything was great for a while, but then we started seeing some of the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease. Now Mom’s doctor has suggested that she participate in a clinical trial for a new drug that’s supposed to stave off the most severe effects of Alzheimer’s. She’s all for it, but I’m not so sure.”
Alzheimer’s Care & Treatment: The Search For A Cure
Everyone agrees: we need a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. That search for a cure include the development of new medications, and in the United States, there’s a clinical trial process that drugs must go through before they’re approved for public use.
The decision to participate or not participate in a clinical drug trial is intensely personal. As a caregiver of someone with Alzheimer’s, there’s a special responsibility to make sure that your loved one is fully informed about this drug trial before they decide to participate.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! It’s essential to know what type of experience your loved one can expect, including the relative risk and any potential side effects that could come from this experimental drug. Give your love one’s physician a central role in this discussion. Is your loved one taking any medication, for example, that could potentially interact in a bad way with the drug being tested?
Every person is different. Linda weighed the risks and potential rewards of the new drug, and decided the potential benefits were great enough that she wanted to participate in the clinical trial. Your parents might make a different decision, if the situation was presented to them. Either way, it is your role to provide loving support throughout the process. Ensuring your loved one is fully informed and that the entire health care team is on board with the situation makes the clinical testing process a safer option for everyone involved.
Do you have questions about the Alzheimer’s Care & Treatment your loved one is receiving? Contact Andelcare today: we’re here to help answer your questions! Fill out our web form or call 425-283-0408.