Who Can Participate in a Clinical Trial?

There are many reasons why people choose to join a clinical trial. Some join a trial because the treatments they have tried for their health condition did not work. Others participate because there is no treatment for their health problems. By being part of a clinical trial, participants may find out about new treatment options before they are widely available to the general public. Some studies are designed for, or include, people who are healthy, but want to help find ways to prevent a disease, such as one that may be common in their family.

It is important for clinical trials to have participants of different ages, sexes, races, and ethnicities. When research involves a group of people who are similar, the findings may not apply to or benefit everyone. When clinical trials include diverse participants, the study results may have a much wider applicability.

  • Study staff explain the trial in detail and gather more information about you.
  • Once you have had all of your questions answered and agree to participate, you sign an informed consent form.
  • You are screened to make sure you qualify for the trial.
  • If accepted into the trial, you schedule a first visit (called the 'baseline' visit). The researchers conduct cognitive and/or physical tests during the visit.
  • You are randomly assigned to a treatment or control group.
  • You and your family member follow the trial procedures and report any issues or concerns to researchers.
  • You may visit the research site at regularly scheduled times for new coginitive, physical or other evaluations and discussions with the staff. Att these visits, the research team collects information about the effects of the intervention and your safety and well being.
  • You continue to see your regular physician for usual healthcare throughout the study.