If you have a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s, he or she may be taking medications that treat the symptoms. But there’s nothing on the market that prevents the disease’s progress.

But, if Dr. Jeffery Apter has anything to do about it, the future looks brighter.

“We’re working on compounds that may prevent the progression of the disease. We want to find something that does more than treat symptoms. We want to discover ways to help these patients,” said Apter, who heads up Princeton Medical Institute, a nationally renowned center for clinical research.

The medical research facility has been conducting clinical trials for two decades while maintaining an emphasis on studies for medications that may help depression, Alzheimer’s, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and migraines, among other disorders.

Princeton Medical Institute developed a name for itself by clinically testing many medications before they hit the market. Dr. Apter says many drugs now used to treat Alzheimer’s were researched in his trials years before they gained Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. “This is a critical reason why patients participate in clinical research tests. They get access to medications not yet on the market and not yet approved by the FDA. They can get drugs many years before they are available to others,” he said.

This timeline can be very important considering it takes five or more years for a new drug to get approval and become commercially available.

With the current Alzheimer’s research Dr. Apter’s research team is conducting, patients are getting early access to compounds that may stop or slow the disease’s progress.

Early access to trial medications is just one advantage of participating in a clinical research trial. Dr Apter says there are many other reasons people who qualify for a test should participate.

“First of all, they get the best possible medical care. Study participants see their doctors frequently. We give them free blood tests, free MRI tests, free medications, and monitor their medical conditions very closely. Study participants really get some of the best medical care in the country,” said Dr. Apter.

In addition, patients get compensated for their time and travel and they get up to three months of free after-care once the study is complete.

“Plus, there is an altruistic element; they are participating in a process that lets them help future patients. We really are looking for ways to help people. Every patient in our studies is part of that process,” he said.

Naturally, not everyone qualifies. With Princeton Medical Institute, a patient must have the disorder being studied. Plus they must be evaluated to make certain they can participate in a given study. “We need to make sure each person is suitable for participation, understands the study and consent agreements and meets the requirements of our ethics review board,” said Dr. Apter. And while the qualifications are tough, he is always looking for study participants. Anyone interested in learning more about Princeton Medical Institute or trial studies they may be qualified for can call 609-921-6050 or visit www.gminstitutes.com.

Princeton Medical Institute. Woodlands Professional Building, 256 Bunn Drive, Suite 6, Princeton, 609-921-3555. Fax: 609-921-3620.

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