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About Being a Research Partner

What is a research partner?

A research partner is a person that agrees to accompany a participant in one of our research studies. Often, the research partner is also the primary caregiver to the individual. In studies that do not require the individual to have memory problems, the research partner may be a family member or friend.

What is the role of a research partner?

The role of the research partner is to be another set of eyes and ears for the study participant. The research partner helps the study team gather information about the daily life functions of the participant. In clinical trials for individuals with memory problems, the research partner may also need to assist the participant with certain study tasks, such as taking study medication or remembering appointments.

What are the requirements to be a research partner?

Requirements vary from trial to trial. Typically, the research partner is someone who knows the participant well and has, at least, weekly contact with him or her. The research partner must remain the same person throughout the trial; most people choose a spouse, adult child, or good friend to act as their research partner.

Why do certain clinical trials require research partners?

Because of the nature of Alzheimer’s Disease, it is possible that the participant may experience a decline in memory and functioning over the course of the trial. It is often the people who are closest to the participant who first notice the decline. Having a research partner helps the study team better understand the participant’s level of functioning.