To date, 30 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the United States, and over 540,000 related deaths. Over the last year, global efforts have contributed to the availability of multiple therapies, vaccines, and diagnostic tools to the public to fight the virus effectively. Though prevalent, COVID-19 comes in 3rd on the list of leading causes of death here in the U.S. So; the question remains: Can we use what we’ve learned from COVID to gain some ground for other conditions?
COVID-19 Impact on Research
When the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe with thunderous resound, scientists, researchers, health officials, and government leaders jumped into action. The FDA fast-tracked therapies and diagnostics. They have countless conditional approvals awarded—all to gain back control and fight the virus.
Due to safety concerns, initially, many clinical trials were paused or put on hold indefinitely. Now, all or part of most clinical trials are virtual. These types of practices will soon be more cost-effective in addition to improvements in patient retention and reaching those in more challenging demographic areas.
A Forgotten, Growing Epidemic
Of the top ten leading causes of death, heart disease ranks #1, cancer ranks #2, and Alzheimer’s is 6th. Alzheimer’s is a slow, progressive brain disease affecting more than 6 million Americans. If serious, strategic intervention does not occur, this number will increase to 16 million by 2050.
The logic is there. We took a novel virus with limited information and no approved therapies to vaccine distribution in under a year after it hit the U.S. Imagine if the same allocation of resources went to other prevalent conditions like heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. Imagine if each had their own Operation Warp Speed, FDA fast-tracking, and financial support towards research. Considering we would be starting light years ahead from where we began with COVID-19. In a year, the possibilities are endless in the progress we could make.
Research is the Answer
Until the same energy and focus on fighting COVID-19 also go into understanding and fighting Alzheimer’s disease, numbers will continue to grow. In the last 20 years, Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related deaths have increased by 145%. By participating in clinical research studies, you can help change the future of conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
If you’d like to be a part of advancing the healthcare of a medical condition you’re facing or are a healthy adult looking to make a difference, visit our website to search for enrolling studies in your area.