Why African Americans Should Participate in Alzheimer’s Disease Clinical Trials   

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Cognito Therapeutics

African Americans are disproportionately affected by many debilitating and life-threatening diseases.  

One disease that has had a devastating effect on our community is Alzheimer’s Disease.  

What is Alzheimer’s Disease 

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects the brain, causing memory loss and cognitive decline.

It is the most common cause of dementia, a broad term for a decline in cognitive function and the ability to perform daily activities.  

Alzheimer’s disease affects roughly 6.5 million Americans, and there is currently no cure.  

The hallmark characteristics of Alzheimer’s include the formation of abnormal protein deposits in the brain, specifically beta-amyloid plaques, and tau tangles, which disrupt the normal functioning of nerve cells.

Over time, these brain changes lead to the loss of connections between nerve cells and their eventual death, contributing to the decline in memory, thinking, and behavior.  

The early symptoms of Alzheimer’s may include forgetfulness, difficulty finding words, and challenges with problem-solving.

As the disease progresses, individuals may experience confusion, disorientation, mood changes, and difficulty with basic tasks like dressing and eating.

In the later stages, individuals may become unable to communicate and require around-the-clock care.  

Research is ongoing to better understand the disease, improve early detection, and develop potential treatments to slow its progression and improve the quality of life for those affected.

Early diagnosis and appropriate care can help manage symptoms and support individuals and their families in coping with the challenges posed by Alzheimer’s disease.  

Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s disease affects African Americans at a higher rate compared to other ethnic groups in the United States.

We are approximately two times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s compared to non-Hispanic whites.  

That is why it’s so important for African Americans to participate in clinical trials and research on Alzheimer’s disease.  

7 Reasons Why African Americans Should Participate in Clinical Trials

African Americans should participate in clinical trials for several important reasons:


Including diverse populations in clinical trials ensures that the results are more applicable to different ethnicities and demographics, leading to better healthcare outcomes for everyone.  

Reduce Health Disparities  

By participating in clinical trials, African Americans can help address and reduce health disparities within our community, as some diseases may affect certain populations differently. 

More Effective and Personalized Treatments

Clinical trial data from diverse groups can lead to the development of more personalized and effective treatments tailored to individual genetic variations. 

Access to Cutting-Edge Treatments 

Participation in clinical trials provides access to potentially groundbreaking treatments that may not yet be widely available.  

More Equitable Healthcare  

By taking part in clinical trials, African Americans can influence research priorities and advocate for more equitable healthcare practices.  

Advance Medical Knowledge 

Your participation helps advance medical knowledge, leading to a better understanding and management of various health conditions.  

Trust in Healthcare  

Although there have been many encounters with healthcare agencies that have caused African Americans to mistrust the healthcare industry, there have been tremendous strides in making sure clinic trials are safe and transparent.

Increased participation can foster trust in the medical system and research institutions, encouraging more African Americans to seek medical care when needed.

Doing your due diligence and research before participating in clinical trials is crucial.    

Cognito Therapeutics HOPE Study 

Cognito Therapeutics hope study clinical trials for alzheimers

Cognito Therapeutics is advancing a new way of treating Alzheimer’s disease.  

They have developed a non-invasive wearable device that consists of headphones and eyewear and delivers treatment through sensory stimulation and has the potential to slow the progression of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, from the comfort of your home.  

This approach represents an opportunity to treat Alzheimer’s disease with a new modality and could bring much-needed treatment options to many impacted by this devastating disease.  

“The HOPE Study offers a rare opportunity for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease to participate in a research study utilizing technology as an intervention,” said Dr. Michelle Papka, Ph.D., Director and Founder of The Cognitive and Research Center of New Jersey. “Our patients and families have expressed great interest in enrolling in this study because it is non-invasive and represents a novel and safe approach to potentially slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.”  

In a 6-month long phase-2 study, treatment delivered through this investigational device has been shown to significantly slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease through preservation of cognitive and daily function, as well as whole brain volume among treated participants.  

Cognito Therapeutics is currently seeking participants for the HOPE Study and it’s important for African Americans to apply to better understand treatment options for our community.  

Who can participate in the Cognito Therapeutics HOPE Study?  

African American woman wearing Cognito Therapeutics medical device for hope stupy clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease.

To participate in the Hope Study clinical trials, you must meet the following criteria:  

  • Be 50-90 years old 
  • Have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease by a healthcare professional 
  • Have a reliable study partner, such as a family member or friend, 
who can help with participation in the study 
  • Must not have profound hearing loss 
  • Must not have taken Memantine (Namenda or Namzaric) within the past 30 days 
  • Must not live in a continuous care nursing facility 

 Participants who choose to enroll in the HOPE Study will:  

  • Use a non-invasive wearable study device at home on a daily basis for approximately 12 months. The device incorporates eyeglasses and headphones and delivers light and sound stimulation 
  • Participate in study-related visits at clinical sites with experienced healthcare professionals 
  • Receive compensation for study-related expenses (such as travel) and time, for both the participant and study partner 

Improving Outcomes for African Americans with Alzheimer’s Disease  

The Cognito Therapeutics HOPE Study has the potential to improve outcomes for African Americans with Alzheimer’s Disease.

If you’re interested in participating or want to learn more, visit https://www.hopestudyforad.com   

You can also visit https://clinicaltrials.gov to learn about more clinical trials. 

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