At the age of 74, Marilyn was diagnosed with ALS, a debilitating and fatal disease. She knew there was no cure and that her time was limited, so she decided to use it to help other people. Marilyn enrolled in a clinical trial for a new medication being tested as a treatment for the disease. Although the research wouldn’t necessarily benefit her, she hoped it would make better treatment available to future ALS patients, and perhaps lead to a cure one day.


Senior Care in Draper UT: Clinical Trials For Your Senior

Senior Care in Draper UT: Clinical Trials For Your Senior

Marilyn was just one of thousands of people who participate in clinical trials each year. Unfortunately, though, as clinical trials go, she was in a minority group—elderly participants. Senior citizens are often under-represented in clinical trials. If your parent has been approached about participating in a clinical trial, as a caregiver you may have many questions and some reservations about them joining.

What is a Clinical Trial?

A clinical trial is a research project that examines how safe or effective a new medication, device, or treatment is for humans. They follow strict rules concerning research to ensure the data that is collected is accurate and useful.

Clinical trials are among the final steps in getting a new medication or treatment approved. The process usually starts in a lab, then progresses to animal testing if it looks promising, and finally moves on to a clinical trial involving humans. Clinical trials can often have several steps themselves. Usually, researchers start with a small group of people to determine if the treatment is safe and minimize risks. They may later include larger groups of participants.

The goal of a clinical trial is to gather information like:

-Whether a treatment causes harm.
-If a treatment improves a patient’s outcome.
-If a treatment has no effect at all.

Even when the outcome of the trial isn’t positive, the information is valuable since it provides researchers with clues that can lead to breakthroughs.

Why are Senior Participants Needed?

Researchers need older adults to participate in clinical trials so that they can determine how treatments and medications affect seniors. Senior bodies sometimes react to medications differently than younger bodies do. Seniors may also experience different side effects than younger adults.

In the end, the decision to join a clinical trial is a very personal one. Caregivers and seniors should talk about the trial and express their thoughts and concerns. If they have questions about the safety of joining a trial, seeking advice from the senior’s doctor can help. Also, the trial coordinator may be able to answer caregiver and senior questions.


Are you or a loved one considering senior care in Draper, UT? Please talk to the friendly staff at December Rose Senior Care at Home.
Providing Home Care in Highland, Utah and Surrounding Communities. 801-427-ROSE (7673)




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