Cultivating Recruitment Science

Brain awareness from early to late

Preparing populations to better cope with brain disorders should begin

at a young age. School curriculums world-wide need to be modified to

include a spiral up awareness about the brain and its disorders. One

cannot expect a 6 year to comprehend the same level as a 16-year-old,

but this doesn’t mean that brain education cannot be presented to

6-year-olds. It is just needs to be structured to correspond to their

level of understanding. Programs are introduced at primary school levels

to help reduce obesity. One recent event in the region where I am

located held a children’s health fair where taught about the importance

of healthy lifestyles. So children are participating at their own level

of understanding about the consequences of obesity such as diabetes and

heart disease but the connection with the brain is not being made.

Therefore, we are missing a great opportunity to introduce basic risk

factors about the brain to those who could make a difference. Though it

will take time to prepare a generation to be fluent in the brain and

comfortable communicating about brain disorders it needs to be started

now. In the meantime, however we also need to assure that adult

populations are knowledgeable about neurodegenerative disorders and the

possibility to participate in clinical trials. Dementia does not select

persons based on their profession, creed, race, religion, nationality or

ethnicity. In other words, globally speaking persons mainly above the

age of 65 years old are all susceptible to developing dementia.

Therefore, clinical trials need to assure that the recruitment is

representative of a diverse population of persons with dementia. Would

it be fair to stipulate that all clinical trials needed to include a

percentage of persons from diverse backgrounds? Cultural barriers may

impede persons from volunteering as a clinical trial recruit. Therefore

messages about the benefits of participation should address these issues

and allow persons from diverse backgrounds to feel at ease by

participating. Creative means to overcome cultural concerns could

include handouts, games, skits, songs, dance at various places where

the elderly have social gatherings. Guest speakers should include

persons who have participated so that questions can be answered. All

doctors treating elderly patients should be provided with a constant

update concerning recruitment for clinical trials. They should be

prepared to explain and outcomes of clinical trials to their patients.

They should also include the caregivers in these conversations They

should also be included in workshops which explain how clinical trials

are run and stages of dementia to be included. Doctors outside the USA

need to be brought on board as well in particular in low and

middle-income countries where the prevalence of dementia is predicted to

sky rocket by 2050. Maybe skype conferences or other video conferences

could be used to inform doctors about clinical trials and how they could

be made available to their country. Similar techniques described above

can be used to get volunteers in centers outside the USA

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Idea No. 326