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Participating in dementia research can be a rewarding experience. However, for participants, finding out about and accessing a clinical trial can be challenging. For dementia researchers, finding the right people to take part in their study can be time-consuming and there is a risk they may not recruit enough participants to deliver meaningful results.
Fortunately, there are now many ways for people to find out about research that is being conducted and participate in clinical trials.
Dementia Australia’s Research Participation Portal
Hosted on the Dementia Australia Research Foundation website, this portal includes a range of studies that are looking for participants. The portal can be searched to find studies in your state or territory.
StepUp for Dementia Research
Led by a team from the University of Sydney, StepUp is a free service that connects people interested in dementia research with researchers conducting studies into dementia prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and cure. Anyone aged 18 and over – both with and without dementia – can register their interest and based on their characteristics such as age, location and diagnosis, will be matched to studies for which they may be eligible.
More than 150 researchers have expressed their interest to use StepUp to recruit their participants, therefore if you do not currently meet the selection criteria for a study, you may be matched to a study in the future. Right now, there are 18 research studies looking for volunteers through StepUp.
Australian Dementia Network (ADNeT), Screening and Trials
People with a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment or early stages of dementia who are interested in joining a clinical trial can register their interest with ADNeT. Participants will undergo research assessment to determine eligibility before being referred to local clinical trial site as appropriate.
Dementia Trials Australia (DTAus)
This website lists commercially-sponsored and researcher-initiated dementia and cognition drug trials that are currently recruiting participants in Australia.
There are also online registries and recruitment services that allow you to find studies for any health condition.
Australian Clinical Trials
The portal includes a range of trials being conducted across Australia and can be searched by health condition, site, type of research and other keywords. It is a live search of the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR).
HealthMatch is a private company that matches eligible volunteers with a specific health condition to studies listed in the ANZCTR. HealthMatch is free for anyone over the age of 18 years to join.
Led by a team from The George Institute, this online database also matches volunteers to studies where they meet the eligibility criteria. JoinUs is free for anyone over the age of 18 years to register.
You can also keep up to date with the latest dementia news at https://www.dementia.org.au/about-us/news-and-stories/research.