Before the memories are lost: Participate in Alzheimer’s research

Could you be the solution to ending Alzheimer’s disease? Thousands of seniors from across Chicagoland have already joined the fight by participating in clinical trials. Much progress has been made, but tens of thousands more participants are needed to win the battle.

Clinical trials are well-planned research studies that assess interventions such as new medications, exercise or changes in diet. Trials are the primary way that researchers find out if a new medication is safe and effective in people. All prescription medications must be studied in clinical trials before they become available to the general public.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are more than 100 Alzheimer’s disease and related memory studies recruiting participants at over 500 research clinics in the United States.

One such research clinic is Great Lakes Clinical Trials, located in Arlington Heights on the campus of the Lutheran Home. A primary focus of Great Lakes Clinical Trials has been to find prevention for Alzheimer’s disease.


Steve Satek, president of Great Lakes Clinical Trials, explains why he opened a clinic at the Lutheran Home.

“Many people think clinical trials are only conducted at major hospitals and medical centers. In reality, across the country the majority of clinical trials are conducted at private physicians’ offices. We opened our clinic at the Lutheran Home to provide convenient access to research in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. I grew up in this community and I know firsthand that the local residents can get behind an important cause.”

Participation in a memory loss prevention trial is a big decision. Older adults who join prevention studies are generally healthy and are not experiencing significant memory loss beyond normal aging. “This presents a challenge, as these healthy individuals don’t necessarily want to go to a doctor unless they are sick,” added Satek. “They typically don’t want to take a medication unless they really need it. Joining a clinical trial is not always at the top of a todo list.”

Many seniors opt to participate in research studies as part of their legacy. They are doing it for their children and grandchildren, with the thought that if this generation doesn’t find a way to prevent Alzheimer’s, then the responsibility will be a passed to the next generation. These participants understand that the only way for to find a cure is for today’s seniors to get involved.Nowis the time.

As a testament to its commitment to the cause, this past year Great Lakes Clinical Trials had the honor of joining an international network of research clinics called the Global Alzheimer’s Platform. This network includes top-performing, respected academic and private commercial institutions that share the goal of streamlining clinical research and drug development for Alzheimer’s disease. These clinics are committed to sharing information and fostering a collaborative environment across the network.

Participation in research at Great Lakes Clinical Trials is always free. Insurance is not required and appointments can generally be made within a week or two. Patients remain under the care or their regular doctor and Great Lakes’ board-certified physicians provide supplemental care. Great Lakes may even be able to provide free transportation for clinic visits.

Do something unforgettable today. Take part in research to help preventAlzheimer’s disease. To learn how to participate, call Great Lakes Clinical Trials at (773) 275-3500 or visit

Daily Herald Article
Healthy You Section, Page 2