Tools, ties and high-tech toys are go-to Father’s Day gifts. But this year, leading Alzheimer’s prevention researchers are challenging families to expand that gift list.
“This Father’s Day, we’re encouraging men to create a legacy by joining the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry and GeneMatch,” said Jessica Langbaum, PhD, Principal Scientist, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and Associate Director, Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative.
Women Outnumber Men
The reason for this dad’s day drive? Female participants outnumber males for nearly all Alzheimer’s prevention research trials—studies that involve healthy volunteers. In fact, 60 percent of first-year Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry enrollees were women. That has now climbed to 80 percent for both the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry and GeneMatch. Researchers are concerned this male-female imbalance could affect Alzheimer’s prevention trials.
“We need diverse representation from both sexes as well as people from different races and ethnic backgrounds,” Dr. Langbaum said. “This ensures study findings are applicable to all groups and, if there are differences, we have enough men and women involved in the study to understand why the treatment may or may not be as effective in men versus women. If enough men don’t participate, we can’t answer those questions.”
A Study Fit for You
While researchers aren’t sure why fewer men participate in Alzheimer’s prevention trials, Dr. Langbaum is convinced there is a prevention research study that’s right for everyone—even your Dad!
“There are online studies, one-time surveys, studies that involve exercise and more,” said Dr. Langbaum. “All of these help us better understand Alzheimer’s disease and how to prevent it. But it can’t just be women who are involved. We need men, too.”
Get Dad Involved
So, this Father's Day, as we’re celebrating all of those great dads, let’s encourage them to invest in the future by joining the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry. And, if there are men in your life between ages 55-75, they can also join GeneMatch.