Clinical trials not only spark new treatments and diagnostic methods but can also help older adults and caregivers feel like they have an important role in creating a more promising world for those living with cognitive impairment, chronic pain and other ailments.
Trials are held worldwide and are often looking for new participants, and your loved one may fit the criteria to enroll. Each of the studies below includes contact information for the research group or university running the study. Contact them with any concern you may have, or to see if your older adult is eligible for enrollment.
Plus, the need has never been more crucial, as recent research has proven that older adults are underrepresented in many clinical studies for drugs they might use on a regular basis.
Older adults are underrepresented in many clinical studies for drugs they might use on a regular basis.
Current clinical trials available for older adults right now are exploring the effects of music, exercise and nutrition on overall health.
One study is investigating the association between aging and declining muscle mass in older adults.
Location: Lubbock, Texas
- 65 years and older
- Physically active
- Able to cook for oneself
- Willing to complete two blood draws
Process: Participants will receive videos or links to high-protein recipes that use lean ground beef. Researchers will conduct various tests – including BMI and questionnaires – to see if the diet improves participants’ muscle mass.
Another study is testing to see whether beet-root juice and red-light therapy can improve muscle endurance in older adults.
Location: Winston-Salem, North Carolina
- 65 years and older
- 30 minutes of physical activity three times per week for the last three months
Process: Participants will take a beet-root supplement and receive red-light therapy to see if their muscular endurance improves. Researchers will conduct timed coordination tests.
One study is testing how different levels of sound can enhance cognitive function in older adults.
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
- Amnesia mild cognitive impairment
- Preserved function
- No dementia
- 65 to 95 years old
Process: Participants will listen to a mix of sound frequencies and self-selected playlists and take a computerized assessment to see if it improves their cognitive function.
Use of Socially Assistive Robots for Long-Term Care Older Adults With Cognitive Impairment and Apathy
Another study is testing to see if older adults’ interactions with robots will affect their cognition.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
- Residing longer than three months in long-term-care facility
- Evidence of mild cognitive impairment
- Symptoms of apathy
- Age 65 or older
Process: Participants will attend two robot activity sessions per week at their care facility, where they will interact with a humanoid robot and a dog robot to complete various tasks. Researchers will assess participants’ verbal and executive functioning skills.
This study will investigate whether personalized text-message reminder systems will improve cognition in older adults.
Location: Tallahassee, Florida
- 65 years of age or older
- Normal or corrected-to-normal visual acuity
- Must pass a dementia screening
Process: Participants will use tablets to complete virtual cognition tests. Digital reminders to take the tests will come through as personalized text messages, and researchers will score and interview participants’ to assess technology proficiency.
This study is testing the psychological effects of blueberries in older adults.
Location: Dedham, Massachusetts
- 70 years old
- Independent-living residents of Hebrew SeniorLife-affiliated facilities
- Resident of facility for at least three months
Process: Participants will add a recommended amount of blueberries into their diets and will track things like frequency of falls, amount of sleep and grip strength over a 12-week period. They will also receive additional medical and written testing from researchers to see if the blueberries made a difference in their overall health.
Kenneth J. Mukamal
Reva L. Seager