By Joyce Lee
In the world of clinical research, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) studies stand out due to their requirement of study partners: often a spouse, child, or close friend who provides support for the patient undergoing memory testing, MRI brain scans, and trial drug infusions.
But the importance of study partners also extends to the preclinical setting. As researchers start to study and identify individuals at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease with genes and biomarkers, study partners can help reduce participants’ anxiety and distress, report to researchers how participants are doing, and ensure findings of these studies have practical applications.
This is why Penn Memory Center Co-Director Jason Karlawish, MD, and University of California, Irvine Professor Joshua Grill, PhD, argue that study partners should be required in all preclinical Alzheimer’s disease studies. Their review article was published in Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy.