Skip to main content
URMC / Alzheimers Care / Learn / About Clinical Research at AD-CARE

About Clinical Research at AD-CARE

What is a clinical research trial?

A clinical research trial is a method used to test if new medications or treatments are safe and effective to treat diseases.  Clinical research trials are the fastest and safest way to find treatments that work.

Why are clinical research trials important?

Clinical research trials help researchers learn and understand more about diseases and their treatments.  All medications must go through clinical trials to determine if they are safe and effective to be used as treatments.  By partaking in a clinical trial involving experimental medications, participants are helping researchers find better treatments for certain diseases.

What is informed consent?

Informed consent is the process used to inform participants of all parts of a clinical trial so that they can make an informed decision about enrolling.  Before enrollment in any clinical trial, the study team will review the informed consent with potential participants, answer any questions, and ensure that participants fully understand all that is expected during the study.  It is important to remember that even after signing the informed consent, participants may still withdrawal from the trial at any time.

Are clinical trials safe?

All experimental treatments must go through extensive testing for safety prior to being approved for use in human subjects.  In addition, all clinical trials must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) in order to ensure research participant safety.

Prior to partaking in a clinical trial, potential participants will be informed of the risks and benefits of the trial to ensure they have all of the necessary information required to make an informed decision.

What does “placebo-controlled” mean?

This term is used to describe a clinical trial in which an experimental treatment is compared to a placebo.  A placebo is an inactive product that is made to look like the experimental treatment.  Using a placebo helps to determine if the experimental treatment has an actual effect.  Participants may or may not know which treatment they are assigned.

What does “double-blind” mean?

The term double-blind is used to describe a clinical trial in which neither the participants nor the study team know who is receiving the experimental treatment, placebo, or standard treatment.  This is done in order to attempt to prevent outside influences from effecting the results of the clinical trial.

Who sponsors clinical research trials?

Clinical research studies are sponsored by either government agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), pharmaceutical companies, individual physician-investigators, or health care institutions.


For more information about clinical trials, check out these trusted sites: