Group uses Internet, phone for trial recruitment

The Alzheimer's Association has combined Internet and telephone communications for clinical trial recruitment. TrialMatch is a service tailored to Alzheimer's patients, the association says, providing specially trained staff and tools developed with input from patients in addition to the online and phone accessibility.

TrialMatch comprises a database of some 100 IRB-approved trials across the U.S. for Alzheimer's, mild cognitive impairment and other dementia. Association representatives man the helpline to aid callers in finding appropriate trials based on study inclusion criteria, diagnosis, treatment history and location. Reps describe the studies for which a caller is eligible, answer questions and connect callers with trial sites.

Like the case with most conditions, recruiting and retaining trial participants is among the chief obstacles to Alzheimer's drug development. The association describes the recruitment challenge as "perhaps second only to lack of funding."

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