Alzheimer disease (AD) research faces challenges to successful enrollment, especially to clinical trials and biomarker studies. Failure to recruit the planned number of participants in a timely manner threatens the internal validity and success of clinical research, raising concerns about external validity and generalizability of results, and possibly leading to disparities in disease treatment. Methods to improve recruitment exist, but require varying levels of staff effort and financial resources, and evidence of effectiveness is often lacking or inconsistent. In this review, we summarize some of the available methods to improve AD research recruitment, the available literature to support or refute these strategies, and some of the experiences at the authors’ AD Research Centers. We discuss the use of community-based participatory research principles and participant registries as a means to enhance research enrollment and increase diversity of research samples.
*Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine, Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
†Department of Neurology, Psychiatry and Population Health, Alzheimer’s Disease Center, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, NY
J.D.G. is supported by NIA AG016570, Alzheimer’s Association NIRG 12-242511, and by the Sidell-Kagan Foundation. J.E.G. is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (P30 AG008051 and R01 AG040211).
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Reprints: Joshua D. Grill, PhD, Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine, Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research, UCLA, 10911 Weyburn Ave, Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA 900095 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Received July 25, 2013
Accepted October 31, 2013