Since deciding to specialise in promoting clinical trials using my digital marketing skills (in particular through Facebook Advertising) – as outlined here: Why I Specialise in Promoting Clinical Trials – I’ve been involved with a number of different trials for various conditions. These have included asthma, psoriasis, high cholesterol, heart failure etc.
The very first trial I helped promote was based on a treatment for a skin condition called ‘actinic keratosis’ (also known as ‘solar keratosis’). That was in 2015 and being involved piqued my interest to find out more about clinical trials in general.
The following year I started working on several other trials campaigns – including one for Alzheimer’s disease. I was also at that time introduced to the people behind the Alzheimer’s Show and began my working relationship with them, which continues to this day.
I was obviously aware of Alzheimer’s and dementia, with the media having become more and more interested in the subject – in particular once Alzheimer’s started to be identified as the biggest single cause of death in England and Wales. My natural curiosity thus led me to learn more about the condition – both from personal interest and in order to provide a better service when promoting relevant clinical trials.
Dad’s Alzheimer’s Diagnosis
Probably the main factor for me in developing an affinity for promoting research into Alzheimer’s was when my father was diagnosed with the condition around the same time as I was getting more involved in the field.
I’d always had a great relationship with my dad and was unsure what to expect following the diagnosis. Everyone knows the ‘memory loss’ aspects of the way it affects people, so I started to wonder how I would feel when Dad started to not be able to recognise me. And of course, I realised that things had now become somewhat bleak for my mum, too. (As with the majority of cases of dementia, Mum was set to be the primary carer, with all the change of lifestyle that involves).
Actually, Dad’s short-term memory had always been pretty poor – despite his academic and intellectual background as a headteacher and subsequently schools inspector. One of the jokes we’d always had with him was about his ‘goldfish memory’ and that if he ever did develop Alzheimer’s, we’d probably never notice.
Coming to terms with the news was made a little easier by the fact I’d already built up a store of knowledge about dementia for professional purposes. And with this now personal link, I determined to find out even more in order to help my parents as much as possible, as well as try to recruit increasing number of participants onto relevant trials.
Moving back to Manchester (after 25 years in London) has enabled me to spend more time with Mum and Dad – a blessing that not everyone gets to experience. It’s also enabled me to witness at first hand the constant involvement of the immediate carer (in this case, my mum) and the destructive effects of the progression of the disease.
I couldn’t say for sure whether the treatment prescribed had much of an effect on improving cognitive function. (Galantamine in Dad’s case, as with many other people). And as we know, sadly and predictably, any beneficial effect is fairly short-lived, so the inexorable process of neurodegeneration continues.
But one thing I realised is, if the treatment prescribed enabled us to have even a few short months of Dad being as close to how he had been previously as it’s currently possible to achieve, I should be grateful to the participants in the associated trials that led to the drug’s development.
Once again, this way of thinking strengthened my resolve to utilise my expertise with digital marketing in order to get as many people as possible involved in clinical trials for the development of effective treatments for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. (As well as the myriad other conditions that affect people’s lives and may be able to be eradicated with new medicines).
I’m convinced of the necessity to conduct more and more medical research that can help to ease suffering and improve people’s lives. I’m committed to playing my part in helping to bring this about through attracting more and more people onto clinical trials. And I’m hopeful for the outcome of current and future trials to be able to stop Alzheimer’s and other conditions in their tracks and eventually reverse or eradicate them altogether.
Facebook Ads for Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment
If you’re looking to recruit more patients to your Alzheimer’s clinical trials – or indeed any other sort of clinical trial – get in touch and I’ll let you know if I can help.