Opinion Column in Orlando Sentinel: Research funds are vital in fight against Alzheimer’s | Commentary


November 18, 2023 at 5:30 a.m.

My husband and I know first-hand the toll that Alzheimer’s Disease has as we have cared for a mom and stepfather who lived with Alzheimer’s Disease before they passed away. With it being National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregiver’s Month, we would like to share our story with hopes that it inspires others to help us in advancing clinical research to stop this cruel disease.

As a nurse, being a caregiver is in my nature. However, when my husband, Chuck, and I began the journey as caregivers, it was nothing that we could have prepared for. After caring for our family, we realized that we wanted to get involved however we could to help the future of research.

After Chuck was screened as part of a clinical trial conducted by K2 Medical Research, we learned that he has the protein in his brain known as P-Tau, which can indicate a chance of develping Alzheimer’s Disease. While that news was tough to hear, the upside was that he was eligible to get into a trial for preventative treatments.

The experience in that trial was fantastic. At no cost to us, he has received top of the line care, and even received three free brain scans, known as MRIs. He was part of a double-blind study and so we will soon learn whether he was receiving the placebo or the treatment. If he was receiving the placebo, the study sponsor will allow him access to the real medication again at no cost to us.

Nowadays, the cost of healthcare can be quite a burden on so many. Through participating in a clinical trial, we realized it is a new way to receive free, specialized medical attention. The staff at K2 Medical Research is professional and knowledgeable, and the entire team is well-versed with our situation. We feel like family with the team at K2, and we hope that others will see how volunteering in trials like this does not have to be scary, and in fact can be a positive experience.

We like to say that “knowledge is power.” Research is the way forward, and we want to help future generations, so they don’t have to bear this burden.

When you feel like Alzheimer’s is inevitable and overwhelming, there is hope. Please join us and consider volunteering for clinical research in honoring National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. The only way we can change and save the lives of those with Alzheimer’s today, and those who may develop Alzheimer’s in the future, is through the advancement of new treatments. And that requires increasing participation in Alzheimer’s clinical research studies. Research centers across the country are conducting clinical studies to find new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, but 90 percent of clinical studies are delayed by slow recruitment.

Right now, K2 in Orlando is accepting volunteers for a research study that may help find a new treatment to help people living with Alzheimer’s. Please visit K2Med.com or Fastertrials.org to find sites around the US to see if you’re eligible. The time to get involved is now.

Joann Greer is a volunteer at K2 Medical Research.

Please visit K2Med.com or Fastertrials.org to find sites around the US to see if you’re eligible for a research study

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