All medicines may have side effects for the people who take them. But if there was a new treatment to slow or stop Alzheimer’s, how would you weigh up its benefits against its potential risks?

That’s what researchers are asking as part of a new project. One of our charity partners, Alzheimer’s Research UK, has teamed up with researchers at the University Medical Centre Groningen, Holland to seek views on what would be most important in a potential new treatment for the disease. The survey was developed with the help of a group of people living with dementia or mild cognitive impairment.

The charity is seeking views from as many people as possible, and anyone over the age of 18 can take part. Researchers are particularly interested in the views of people affected by Alzheimer’s or mild cognitive impairment, but they would also like to reach people without memory or thinking problems.

What sort of questions are being asked?

The survey outlines several hypothetical treatments for Alzheimer’s and asks which treatments people would prefer based on their ability to slow the progress of the disease, and their likelihood of causing side effects.

To help spot whether there are trends that apply to specific groups of people, the survey also contains some demographic questions, as well as some questions about people’s current health and experience of dementia. All responses will be kept anonymous.

Why is this important?

Before any new treatment can be made available, regulators need to decide whether it is effective enough to help people and whether its benefits outweigh the risk of harm from side effects. There are over 125 drugs for Alzheimer’s currently in clinical trials, but at the moment, there is little data available on what level of risk people would be willing to accept from an effective treatment. Understanding this will be crucial for helping assess any treatments coming through late-stage clinical trials.

The responses will help charities, dementia researchers and the people tasked with making decisions about whether to approve new dementia treatments.

How can I take part?

The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete and is open until 6 March 2022. To find out if you are eligible to join this study, as well as other dementia studies, sign in to your Join Dementia Research account or if you are not already registered, sign up today