The June 20 news article “Large Alzheimer’s study hits a recruitment roadblock ” highlighted the difficulty of recruiting candidates for Alzheimer’s clinical trials, a critical factor in finding a cure.
The issue is even more pressing for African Americans, who are two to three times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than white Americans. Research shows minorities in the United States live sicker and die younger but are more reluctant to participate in clinical research. African Americans make up more than 13 percent of the population but only 5 percent of clinical trials participants. That percentage is even lower for older African Americans.
The African American Network Against Alzheimer’s is spearheading a nationwide effort to increase enrollment in clinical trials by meeting people where they are — in churches, in community centers and through leading organizations — and encouraging participation and providing information about how to enroll.
We need to band together to find a cure. That starts with increasing participation in clinical trials. It’s the only way to ensure that drugs, treatments and therapies for Alzheimer’s are safe and effective for African Americans. Otherwise, the disease will continue to rob families of their past, present and future.
Stephanie Monroe, Leesburg
The writer is director of the African American Network Against Alzheimer’s.