Clinical trials not only pave the way for treatments and diagnostic methods but can also help older adults and caregivers feel like they make a difference by creating a world better prepared to support those living with cognitive impairment, chronic pain and other ailments.
Trials are held across the country and internationally and are often looking for new participants, and your loved one could be eligible. Each of the studies below includes contact information for the research group or university sponsoring the study. Contact them with any questions you may have, or to see if your older adult meets the criteria to enroll.
Plus, the need for participants is at an all-time high, as recent research has proven that older adults are often underrepresented in many clinical studies.
Current clinical trials available for older adults are exploring anxiety management, memory improvement, firearm safety and more.
One study is investigating whether or not older adults’ listening effort influences their language processing skills.
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
- 60-90 years old
- Normal cognition
- Normal hearing, or mild hearing loss
- Native English speaker
Process: Participants will take hearing, memory and thinking tests, followed by various listening tasks, as researchers check their pupil dilation and use an electroencephalogram (EEG) to measure brain activity.
Brennan R. Payne
This study is testing to see if a new drug, AXS-05, reduces agitation in older adults with Alzheimer’s disease.
Location: Toms River, New Jersey, and Brooklyn, New York
- 65-90 years old
- Diagnosed with probable Alzheimer’s disease
- Diagnosis with clinically significant agitation due to probable Alzheimer’s
Process: Participants will take either AXS-05 or a placebo twice a day for five weeks, and study partners will answer questions about participants’ levels of agitation and aggression.
This study is testing whether older adults could see improvements in cognitive skills by adding eggs into their daily diets.
Location: Indiana University
- 65-90 years old
- Autonomy over food choices
- Can read simple instructions on a computer/laptop screen
- Willing to consume the study foods as provided
- Can visit IUB campus on specified in-person days
Process: Participants will receive egg-containing breakfast meals on a regular basis and researchers will test changes in their verbal and visual memory, processing speed, reaction time and attention.
Andrew W. Brown
One study is testing to see if training the working memory can improve learning in older adults with normal cognition or mild cognitive impairments.
Location: University of Michigan
- 60 and older
- Diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment
Process: Participants will undergo 10 sessions of in-person or online memory training, followed by memory tests and MRI imaging to evaluate changes in the brain.
This study will test the effectiveness of an online education program aimed to improve the confidence of dementia caregivers who are Latino.
Location: University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
- 18 and older
- Family member to someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or related dementia
- Provide unpaid help with at least one major activity of daily living
- Can read and speak English or Spanish
Process: Caregivers will answer questionnaires about their level of confidence in performing care tasks and overcoming behavioral and health obstacles.
Carole L. White
One study is testing whether a voice-activated exercise tool can encourage older adults to be more active.
Location: University of Chicago
- 65 and older
- Identify as African American
- Has at least two chronic conditions
- Requires help to leave the home
Process: Participants will undergo exercise three to six times per week using a socially-motivated fitness program. Researchers will assess things like grip strength, loneliness and balance to see if the program improves participants’ social and physical well-being.
This study is exploring the effectiveness of different online safety tools for caregivers to ensure firearm safety in the homes of those living with dementia.
Location: University of Colorado Anschutz (Aurora, Colorado)
- 18 and older
- Family member or friend of a person with dementia who has access to a firearm
- Speak English or Spanish
- Access to the internet
For person with dementia:
- Cognitive decline with signs of dementia
- Access to a firearm
- Living at home or in a senior community
Process: Participants will use an online firearm safety program or complete a virtual home safety check. Additionally, participants will receive questionnaires and evaluations over the course of six months. Researchers will measure caregivers’ confidence and burden levels. They will also follow whether or not those with dementia face any injuries or threatening situations related to firearm access.
Marian E. Betz