1 AnswerMarc Garnick, Oncology, answeredIf a doctor asks you to volunteer for a clinical trial, you do not need to say yes. Ask questions and then decide what makes sense for you. If you say no, your care at the hospital and your relationship with your doctor will not be affected. If you agree to join the study and later change your mind, you are free to stop participating. Be sure to ask what care you will receive if you leave the study before it concludes.
1 AnswerMarc Garnick, Oncology, answeredClinical trials benefit thousands of people every year, but your decision to enroll should not be a purely altruistic one. Get as much information as you can by asking questions such as these:
- Why is the study being done?
- Have other studies evaluated this drug or procedure? What were the results?
- Is there a chance that I will receive a placebo?
- What are the possible risks and benefits of participating?
- What other treatment options do I have?
- What treatments, tests, and medical procedures will I receive?
- Can I continue to take my regular medications?
- How long will the study last?
- Will I have to pay for any treatments or tests?
- If the investigational drug or treatment works for me, can I continue to receive it when the trial ends?
- Who will be responsible for my care?
- How might my participation affect my daily routine? Will I miss work?
- Does the study involve a hospital stay?
1 AnswerInternational Bipolar Foundation answeredCrossover describes a study where participants receive a random assignment to one or two or more treatment options for a certain length of time. Once the first time period ends, researchers assign volunteers to one of the remaining treatments. Volunteers "crossover" treatments.
1 AnswerInternational Bipolar Foundation answeredA trusted mental health professional with whom you have a relationship should be your first resource. He or she understands your illness and your other medical issues well. Institutions and other organizers advertise their trials through the advertisements on the radio, in the newspaper and on television. These trials are more common in cities and even college towns than in rural areas.
The Office of Public Inquiries at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) lists current clinical trials involving mood disorder treatments at www.nimh.nih.gov. Click on the "Clinical Trials" link.
1 AnswerRealAge answered
A comprehensive, twenty-five-year research project called the National Children’s Study was recently launched by the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies. It will closely monitor more than a hundred thousand children from before birth until age twenty-one to assess many of the possible effects of many things, from environmental pollutants to eating habits, on children’s health.
This study is one of the most exciting developments in pediatrics in decades, and the great hope is that it will yield clear-cut results and recommendations akin to those from the landmark Framingham Heart Study, which confirmed that high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and inactivity were indeed strong risk factors for heart disease.
From The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents by Jennifer Trachtenberg.
Find out more about this book:The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents
1 AnswerDavid Agus, Oncology, answered
The connection between specific genes and disease is one of the most important breakthroughs of modern medicine. In this video, Dr. David Agus talks about how genetic research is changing cancer treatment -- and the most promising directions for the future.
1 AnswerAnthony Cirillo, Gerontology, answeredWhen it comes to medical and scientific studies, positive stories may sway doctor practice methods more so than studies that conclude that there was no difference as a result of the research. It's important to question studies, products, and services that promise to cure all of our ills.
With journal articles focused on the next best thing, it can make the new drugs and treatments seem better than they really are, while giving the proven standbys none of the respect they deserve.
To study the level of positive-outcome bias among journal editors, researchers presented peer reviewers at two orthopedic journals with one of two fictitious studies that were identical in every way except one: One study showed that one treatment was superior to another, while the other indicated no difference between treatments. Reviewers not only overwhelmingly picked the positive study (97.3% recommended publishing the positive study while 80% recommended publishing the negative study), but they also more harshly criticized the quality of the no-change study.
Despite the rigors of evidence and science, even researchers can get caught up in perception and brand considerations. Typically they do not get their hands dirty with that, but they are influenced by it nonetheless, even if they are not aware that they are influenced at all.
2 AnswersThere are generally known and unknown risks associated with clinical trials, such as:
- There may be unpleasant, serious, or even life-threatening side effects resulting from the treatment.
- The treatment may not be effective for the participant.
- The protocol may require more of the participant's time and attention than a standard treatment. (Participants may need to visit the study site on a regular basis, be subjected to additional tests, get more treatments than are normally necessary, stay in the hospital and/or follow complex dosage requirements).
1 AnswerParticipating in well-designed and well-executed clinical trials is one approach people can take to:
- Get actively involved in their health care.
- Gain access to potential new treatments.
- Have access to expert medical care for the condition being studied, since investigators are often specialists in the disease area.
- Help others by contributing to medical research.
1 AnswerExperimental studies on multiple sclerosis (MS) carry very real risks. The researchers and medical professionals involved are not always certain what side effects may occur or if the drug will work for you. There is no guarantee that you will receive the experimental medication, or if you do, that it will be effective. While on an experimental therapy, your MS may improve, or you may have a relapse that leads to a loss of function. Some clinical trials for experimental MS therapies have resulted in very serious side effects, and even death.
Before agreeing to participate in a clinical trial, carefully read the informed consent form that must be provided to you. It lays out the details of the study and its risks. It exists to protect you.