Winners to be recognized at UsAgainstAlzheimer’s 2019 National Summit in Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 25, 2018) – More than 5.7 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and researchers rely upon clinical trial volunteers to be the first step towards a cure. The Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation (GAP) has launched the Citizen Scientist Awards®, the first national awards program recognizing and celebrating Alzheimer’s disease clinical trial participants. The awards are designed to broaden awareness of the benefits of clinical research for current and future generations and increase involvement of under-represented groups in research.
“The Citizen Scientist Awards recognize the important and unselfish contributions of research volunteers who are on the front lines in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease,” said John Dwyer, president of the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation. “Our hope is that this initiative will inspire others to get involved in clinical research and therefore find treatments and cures faster for this insidious and fatal disease.”
The task of populating Alzheimer’s clinical trials is a daunting numbers game, according to GAP and as reported by The New York Times. There are more than 400 Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials underway, with more than 100 needing to recruit participants over the next few years. According to a 2016 GAP Harris Poll, 60 percent of Americans say that they are definitely willing or would consider participating in Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials. Nevertheless, participation rates show that less than 10 percent are actually doing so.
Alzheimer’s research involves many different types of studies, including those that cover diagnosis, prevention, treatments and quality of life improvements. Trials may test drugs, therapies and lifestyle habits including exercise and fitness. Study participants include individuals who are not yet showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as people who have mild cognitive impairment or more advanced stages of the disease.
“Everyone is at risk for Alzheimer’s disease, so we all need to be aware of and consider clinical trials and research. The last thing researchers want is to have a promising trial available, but not the necessary volunteers to participate. That’s where Citizen Scientists can help by spreading the grass-roots level messaging regarding this enormous need,” stated Dr. Edward Zamrini, medical director of the Cleo Roberts Memory Clinic at Banner Sun Health Research Institute in Sun City, Arizona. “Outreach to our growing aging population that explains Alzheimer’s disease research from a personal perspective can help us in our race to find a cure.”
Citizen Scientists® are nominated by GAP-Net, a network of more than 65 academic and private research sites across the United States and Canada. Nominees must be Alzheimer’s disease clinical trial participants at GAP-Net sites. Each site can nominate nine Citizen Scientists across three award categories. The top three national awardees will be celebrated at the UsAgainstAlzheimer’s National Summit in September 2019. Citizen Scientist Award categories are:
Cornerstone Award – a clinical trial participant who has personally made extraordinary efforts to support local research and participate in a trial.
Champion Award – a clinical trial participant who fights for a cause and is an advocate for trial participation in the community.
Catalyst Award – a clinical trial participant who acts as a stimulus in bringing about or hastening a result through creative, new and novel approaches to encourage clinical trial participation.
For more information about the GAP, please visit www.globalalzplatform.org. For more information about the Citizen Scientist Awards, go to www.citizenscientistawards.org. Generous support of the Citizen Scientist Awards is provided by Janssen and The Vradenburg Foundation. To learn more about sponsorships please visit www.citizenscientistawards.org/sponsorships.
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