Thanks to innovative research being done locally at Charter Research, volunteering for an Alzheimer’s clinical trial could improve your health and make a huge impact on the Alzheimer’s community and the future of this insidious disease

GAP-Net Site Charter Research’s Jeff Pohlig, CEO, wrote an Op-Ed about how volunteering can improve your health and your community.

Unfortunately, over 90% of research studies are delayed because of slow recruitment. These delays may be affecting the treatment of your neighbor, loved one, co-worker or friend. Floridians facing Alzheimer’s need clinical trial volunteers to continue what could be life-saving research. The need to prioritize research for our community is more critical now than ever.

Today, there are over 580,000 Floridians over the age of 65 who face Alzheimer’s. While most identify with an older   demographic, 13.6% of Florida residents age 45 and older begin experiencing subjective cognitive decline. The Alzheimer’s patient population in Florida is projected to continue to grow to 720,000 by 2025.

Alzheimer’s impacts both the person living with the disease and the person’s family and care community. Today, 527,000 Florida residents are respon- sible for caring for a loved one facing symptoms. Alzheimer’s caregivers in Florida devote approximately 685 million hours of unpaid care to those suffering from the disease.

Charter Research has partnered with the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation (GAP), a nationally recognized nonprofit accelerating and improving clinical trials, to conduct the Bio-Hermes study. Bio-Hermes is focused on identifying blood tests and digital tests that may help to predict amyloid in the brain. This trial is critically important, as currently, the most effective way to diagnose Alzheimer’s is through a PET scan. PET scans are not only costly, but time-consuming and invasive for patients, especially compared to these new types of tests in development. Finding alternative means of identifying  Alzheimer’s through new diagnostic tools is critical to increasing the  accessibility of Alzheimer’s tests and ultimately, treatment.

A recent Charter Research patient exemplifies exactly why clinical research is important. When a local 78-year old woman started to notice changes in her ability to find and recall words, she reached out to Charter Research to learn more about her cognitive health, along with the newest investigational Alzheimer’s treatments and diagnostics. After volunteering for the Bio-Hermes study, she was able to discuss her PET scan results with her physician, offering a unique opportunity for insight into disease progression. After receiving a positive PET scan, she was eager to learn more about future research opportunities and the potential for treatment. Thanks to participants like this one, the needle will continue to move forward in finding a cure for Alzheimer’s.

If you or your loved one is experiencing memory loss, moments of confusion, or other symptoms that may be associated with dementia, then please join us in our quest to make a difference in a community that is in desperate need of volunteers like yourself. Take the first step by contacting one of Charter Research’s two locations, either in Winter Park or Lady Lake. Alzheimer’s remains a public health threat, and volunteering for a clinical trial is the most impactful way for you to help minimize its impact.

Who Can Participate? Anyone 60-85 years old with memory loss; Has someone who can participate as a Study Partner

What’s the Study Involvement? Requires two visits with research study staff, One visit to local imaging site over approximately three months, A follow-up phone call, depending on PET scan results.

Is There a Cost? You will not be responsible for any costs associated with the brain amyloid PET scan or study procedures.

How to Participate? Call Charter Research at 352-775-1000 or log onto

Originally posted in the Villages Daily Sun on March 9, 2022.

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