The fastest and safest way to determine whether new treatments work is through clinical research. Older people are underrepresented in clinical research because most treatments used to treat older patients are studied in younger people. Doctors have to draw conclusions from these studies when treating older patients, many of whom may have multiple conditions. Some conditions may also affect older people differently. It’s important for scientists to be able to study these conditions in older people in order to develop effective treatments.
Many clinical studies involving those over 60 do not involve drugs. Instead, they may test the effect of behavioral and lifestyle changes. Yale has a long track record of providing clinical care for older people and has been conducting research involving older people for almost 40 years. Yale is also partnered with the VA and several studies are conducted at or with the VA hospital in West Haven.