Author: Nikki Boyd

February 25, 2021

The Green Memory study focuses on targeting microorganisms in your gut to determine if
rebalancing certain bacteria may improve brain function and slow the development of
Alzheimer’s disease.

Memory decline is more than just forgetting. Local physicians are seeking volunteers with history of memory decline between 50 & 85 years old to evaluate a trial medication to see if it helps symptoms. Find out more today.

For more information call 978-992-4239 or click here.

March 23, 2021
Spotlight multiple sclerosis, relapsing-remitting blog

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that affects the brain and central nervous system. Symptoms and severity vary depending on the type and amount of damage that occurs. The most common type is relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), affecting about 85% of those diagnosed.

MS Types

Our nerve fibers help the brain communicate with the rest of the body. They have a protective cover called myelin on them. In MS, the immune system mistakenly attacks the myelin, eventually causing deterioration or permanent nerve damage. Thus, resulting in movement problems, vision disturbances, and other issues. The damage could be in one area or multiple. Damage to nerves can still occur even though there are no symptoms. No two people will have the same experiences. Symptoms experienced:

  • Tremor, lack of coordination, or unsteady gait
  • Partial or complete loss of vision and pain with eye movement
  • Prolonged double vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Tingling or pain in parts of your body
Nothing about MS is typical, learn about our MS studies today

Multiple sclerosis types are characterized by disease progression, frequency of relapses (exacerbations), presenting symptoms, and period of remission. The most common are:

  • Relapsing-Remitting (RRMS): Clearly defined relapse of symptoms, followed periods where all symptoms go into remission, or just a few. Also, the progression of the disease isn’t typical during remission.
  • Secondary-Progressive (SPMS): This type has a steady worsening of neurological function that continues with or without a relapse of symptoms. Some with RRMS will eventually transition to this stage.
  • Primary-Progressive (PPMS): PPMS is characterized by gradual worsening symptoms from the beginning, without relapses or remissions.

Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis involves many more attacks than the other more progressive types. Brain and inflammatory lesions are also more familiar with RRMS, though disease progression stops during remission.

Modifying the Course of RRMS

Treating RRMS mainly involves using disease-modifying therapies (DMT). Over a dozen are FDA approved to treat MS, and they help reduce the number of attacks and help slow disease progression. DMT’s also decrease the number of brain and spinal cord lesions. As researchers continue to learn about other ways to reduce new lesions and relapses, the course of RRMS is altered.

relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis

New RRMS therapies under investigation include medical marijuana, stem cell therapy, lipoic acid, and more. As a clinical research volunteer, you can help change the future for those with multiple sclerosis. ActivMed currently needs participants to join enrolling studies at our Lawrence, MA location for those with relapsing-remitting or secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis. View additional information on our website, or call (978) 992-4239.

References:

https://www.nationalmssociety.org/What-is-MS/Types-of-MS/Relapsing-remitting-MS#section-3

https://www.abovems.com/en_us/home/what-is-ms/ms-education/types-multiple-sclerosis.html?cid=PPC-GOOGLE-Above+MS_DTC_Unbranded_Health+Concern_Primary_Exact~S~PH~UB~NER~DTC~CON-types+of+ms-NA-p46889720290&gclid=Cj0KCQiAvbiBBhD-ARIsAGM48bwLrI_6YcTupLhrPDKlT0IaWJCjDsCJ78dV1WAidCRLwRIJDMvao38aArohEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/multiple-sclerosis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350274

March 11, 2021
Why are the kidneys important, clinical research

The kidneys are remarkably intricate organs located on either side of the spine in the lower back. They are two bean-shaped organs about the size of fists. It’s perfect; they are the size of fists because they are always fighting for your overall health. This is only the beginning of why the kidneys are so important.

What the Kidneys Do

Each of your kidneys contains around a million filtering units called nephrons. Each unit includes a filter, called the glomerulus, and a tubule. The glomerulus filters your blood, and the tubule returns needed substances to your blood and removes wastes. You eliminate the waste when you urinate. The renal artery brings in the blood. Once filtered, it returns to the body through the renal vein. The kidneys process about 150 quarts of blood a day, turning 1-2 quarts into urine.

They also are responsible for:

  • Help maintain a healthy balance of water, salts, and minerals—such as sodium, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium—in your blood.
  • Make hormones that help:
  • Control your blood pressure
  • Make red blood cells
  • Keep your bones strong and healthy

Why the Kidneys are Important

Even if 10% of your kidneys were working, you might not notice any symptoms or problems. Each heartbeat sends 20% of the blood to the kidneys. Without blood flowing into a kidney, part or all of it could die. Eventually, that can lead to kidney failure. How the kidneys regulate the useful and harmful substances that are in our body is called renal function. Even if they were assisted artificially, like would not continue without the functions they perform.

Humans can live without one of their kidneys but at least one working is necessary for life

When a medical condition causes the blood flow to decrease, the kidney can begin to deteriorate. Diabetes is the number one cause of chronic kidney disease in the U.S. High glucose levels cause thickening and damage along with the proliferation of destructive enzymes that make the kidney overwork itself.

World Kidney Day

March 11th is World Kidney Day. The 2021 focus is “Living Well with Kidney Disease.” The goal is to increase education and awareness about effective symptom management and patient empowerment, with the ultimate goal of encouraging life participation. Learn more about and how you can get involved here.

Ensuring patients with kidney disease live well requires us to extend beyond the status quo with research that improves patients’ options. To learn more about enrolling studies for kidney disease here at ActivMed Practices & Research, call 978-655-7155, or visit our Methuen, MA website.

References:

https://www.uhhospitals.org/Healthy-at-UH/articles/2019/08/why-kidney-health-is-vital-to-your-overall-well-being

https://www.webmd.com/kidney-stones/picture-of-the-kidneys#:~:text=The%20kidneys’%20job%20is%20to,minerals%20are%20adjusted%2C%20if%20needed.

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/kidneys-how-they-work

February 26, 2021
Rare diseases- Hidradenitis suppurativa, blog, clinical research

Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) is a condition that causes lumps or boils to form in the folds of your skin. Though non-contagious, they are often painful and impact a patients’ quality of life and mental health. Without proper treatment, HS can worsen. Hidradenitis Suppurativa may be a rare disease, but knowing more about it can change that.

HS Signs

The painful lumps can affect one or multiple areas of the body. Areas with hair follicles and many oil and sweat glands are more prone. For example, the armpit, groin, and anal regions. These hair follicles become blocked and develop into HS. They also can develop where skin rubs together like the inner thighs, breast, and buttocks. Signs of hidradenitis suppurativa in these areas include:

  • Discomfort in the area where skin can burn, itch, or sweat excessively.
  • A painful spot that looks like a deep pimple, boil, or acne cyst.
  • Lumps that grow and join together may fill with fluid and become increasingly painful. These may break open and release a foul-smelling liquid.
  • Blackhead-like bumps that often appear in twos.

The cause of hidradenitis suppurativa remains mostly unknown. We know that it isn’t the result of poor hygiene but could be connected to hormones, inherited genes, and immune system issues.

Did you know the exact cause of HS is unknown? Learn more about HS research studies. Woman with short curly hair staring out.

Treatment Options for Hidradenitis Suppurativa

At this time, there is no known cure for HS. Thankfully, breakthroughs through research has led to a better understanding of this disease. It has also led to better treatment options for HS. Many patients now receive a treatment plan customized to their needs. Having this condition increases the risk of developing other conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. Your dermatologist may work closely with other doctors for this reason. A patient’s HS treatment plan may include:

  • Following a daily skincare routine with non-soap products or antiseptic wash.
  • Antibiotic creams, systemic drugs, and pain medications.
  • Surgical options include removing the affected area of the skin, removing lesions, and uncovering tunnels made by joining abscesses.
  • Lifestyle changes such as avoiding tight clothes and products that irritate the skin, maintaining a healthy weight, and staying active.
Living with hidradenitis suppurativa can be challenging. Learn more about HS research options. White female sitting alone in park

HS research continues for hope to help improve the care of those with this condition and eventually find a cure. To learn how you can get involved in the hidradenitis suppurativa studies currently enrolling here at ActivMed Practices & Research, call our Beverly, MA location at (978) 969-6897, or visit our website.

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hidradenitis-suppurativa/symptoms-causes/syc-20352306

https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/hidradenitis-suppurativa-symptoms

February 9, 2021
Research is good for the heart, blog, Older white male running in a race, heart disease clinical research

Around 655,000 Americans die every year from heart disease. It is the leading cause of death for men, women, and most ethnic groups in the U.S. February 2021 is the 57th anniversary of the American Heart Month initiative. In most cases, heart disease is preventable through healthier lifestyle changes. Also, during the month, fundraising events go toward clinical research efforts to improve the care of those with heart disease. Here are some tips that are good for the heart and what research is doing to help.

Love Your Heart 

African American doctor listening to heart and lungs of Asian patient, heart health, heart disease clinical trials

Amid the pandemic, many have adopted unhealthier lifestyles that raises their risk for heart-related conditions. Smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are key risk factors for heart disease. Diabetes, unhealthy diet, alcohol abuse, physical inactivity, and obesity are medical conditions and lifestyle choices that raise that risk. Here are changes you can make to keep your heart healthy:

  • Get 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week.
  • Quit smoking and refrain from drinking too much alcohol.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Get regular checkups.
  • Control chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol.

Healthier living is a journey, but with the support of a community that drives heart-health, anything is possible. Get involved today by taking part in the 7 Days of Self Care initiative or other various events this month.

The Future of Heart Disease

Recently it was discovered that two newer classes of drugs used to treat Type 2 diabetes (SGLT2 inhibitors and GLP-1 RA medications) had been shown to protect patients against heart disease and chronic kidney disease. This means other groups such as people with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction with or without Type 2 diabetes and people with chronic kidney disease who do not have Type 2 diabetes could benefit from these types of medications.

Heart failure research, older Caucasian male with glasses, smiling, heart disease research.

Clinical research must continue so that we can ensure millions of people live longer and healthier. The donations raised and volunteers who participate in research studies make these advancements possible. To learn how you can get involved in one of our heart-related studies with us here at ActivMed Practices & Research, call our Methuen, MA location at (978) 655-7155. You can also view a listing of studies on our website.

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/american_heart_month.htm

https://www.heart.org/en/around-the-aha/february-is-american-heart-month

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/education-and-awareness/american-heart-month/about

January 15, 2021
Diversity in COVID-19 research, pictures of 4 diverse people with masks

As we pass the first anniversary of the first reported case of COVID-19 in the U.S., a lot of uncertainty remains despite the tremendous progress. Diversity has been a challenge long before the coronavirus, and it’s vital to end the disproportionate impact in communities of color. As clinical research efforts continue to deliver new ways to detect, prevent, and treat COVID-19, study participants’ diversity will be more critical than ever.

Group of diverse people, diversity is important in clinical research

Importance of Diversity in Research

Genetics and biological makeup differ for every person. For vaccines, this means how antibodies are produced in one ethnic group can vary from others. Since the pandemic began, data gathered shows much higher rates of infection, hospitalization, and death in people of color.

Diversity also covers various age groups, gender, and backgrounds. Older individuals and those with underlying health conditions are more likely to suffer severe symptoms, hospitalizations, and death as well. The populations with the most significant risk stand to benefit the most from the new possibilities being developed for COVID-19. At the same time, they need to be tested in these groups to ensure they are safe and effective for everyone.

Disparity Causes

Historical mistreatment of minority populations in research studies fuels mistrust and prevents some from participating. Though safeguards, ethical laws, and oversight by the FDA have made research studies much safer, the past is still fresh in minds. Others feel they lack the tools to make it to appointments due to lack of transportation, inability to leave work early, childcare needs, and so on. The reality is that many studies offer options to help with those challenges, such as reimbursement for time and travel, transportation help, and extended hours.

By talking with the study office, you can learn more about the study, potential risks, and possible benefits. The commitment for each study varies. A vaccine study may last two years, while an antibody study may be  one visit for example. While there are criteria for each that must be met, flexibility of choice is always a bonus. Volunteering in clinical research studies is 100% voluntary throughout the entire process. You can end your commitment at any time in the event you cannot continue.

Rise up against COVID, participate in a research study

ActivMed Practices & Research is proud to be a part of history in the fight to end COVID-19. Our site participated in the large AstraZeneca vaccine study, as well as other antibody test studies. Get further details about enrolling COVID-19 studies here.

Without the selfless gift our volunteers offer, the progress made thus far wouldn’t be possible. To learn more about volunteering or view a current list of enrolling studies at each of our sites, visit our website.

References:

https://hub.jhu.edu/2020/11/30/diversity-covid-19-vaccine-trials/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/tracybrower/2020/05/19/diversity-equity-and-inclusion-what-the-coronavirus-teaches-and-how-we-must-respond/?sh=8f5aaf4d0534

https://www.henryford.com/blog/2020/11/diversity-in-vaccine-trials

https://www.clinicalresearchnewsonline.com/news/2020/10/27/why-diversity-matters-covid-19-and-the-search-for-a-vaccine

January 7, 2021
Observational studies and COVID-19, clinical research studies

Clinical research studies can be broken down into two categories. Interventional and Observational studies. Interventional studies are where a medication or device intervenes to prevent or treat a disease. Observational studies typically do not involve an intervention, although on occasion they may involve interventions that are a part of routine care, rather than assigned by the investigator. In a world fighting back against COVID-19, observational studies are being done to see if just a few drops of blood from a finger stick can be used to detect if an individual has antibodies to COVID-19, potentially making testing more available and safer during the pandemic.

Observational Studies

Observational studies are where researchers observe the effect of a risk factor, diagnostic test, treatment, or other intervention. Two common types are cohort and case control. A cohort is any group of people linked in some way, such as an age group, for example. Case-control studies identify people with a pre-existing health problem (cases) and a similar group without the problem (controls) and then compare them.

COVID virus cell, clinical research

For COVID-19, observational studies help us learn more about the virus. In turn, this information is used to find better ways to detect, treat, and prevent COVID. Observational studies are a benefit not just to individuals affected by these conditions but also to society.

Finger Stick and COVID-19

Testing for the virus seems to have come full circle, from long lines at a few places to drive through sites and emailed results. While we’ve come a long way, there is still a need to diagnose COVID-19 quicker and safer. Finger stick testing is a blood test done by pricking your finger and collecting a few drops of blood. It is similar to what people with diabetes use to test their blood sugar levels.

We're still battling COVID-19

Finger stick testing is also being evaluated to determine if an individual has COVID-19 antibodies as an observational study. ActivMed Practices & Research has joined the fight against COVID-19 and has participated in an observational study and a vaccine study for this virus. To learn more about how you can get involved, contact us for more information at (603) 319-8863, or visit our enrolling studies page.

References:

https://www.iwh.on.ca/what-researchers-mean-by/observational-vs-experimental-studies

January 7, 2021

Join to hear the discussion on how COVID-19 and isolation are impacting seniors in our communities. Our friends at Senior Living Residences are hosting this presentation.

Register here

Posted in Events
December 16, 2020
Diversity

When it comes to improving how we detect, manage, and prevent a medical condition, discovering new options is only the beginning. Before it can be made available to the public, each must be thoroughly tested on humans in studies called clinical trials. The diversity in the volunteers who participate plays a vital role in clinical research we can’t afford to do without.

Diversity is More than Race

Diverse hands stacked on one another, diversity in clinical research

Diversity means more than a racial or ethnic background. While this is part of it, age, gender, demographics, and lifestyles are others. Why are these things important? Because potentially new drugs, devices, and therapeutic approaches should be studied in the population of people they are meant to help. For example, being over 45 and in specific ethnic groups are some of the factors that increase your risk of developing diabetes.

We could relate these to traditional cuisines or another related cultural custom. We have some answers, but there is still more to learn before an exact cause is found. Diversity makes treatments safer and more effective for everyone.

Diversity’s Role in COVID-19 Vaccine Studies

There are many different types of research studies. Vaccines come to mind as we continue the fight against COVID-19 and marvel as the first vaccines doses are administered. It won’t be available to everyone at first, though. Healthcare workers, older adults (65 and up) and those at higher risk of developing more severe symptoms are among the first groups slated for vaccination. Pre-existing health conditions can put adults of any age at increased risk. Some examples are:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Smoking
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Obesity

COVID-19 Vaccine Studies at ActivMed Practices & Research

There are over 400,000 registry participants in coronavirus related research studies. 19% represent ages 65-74, and 4% are over 75. In a virus where 80% of related deaths are age 65 and older, the numbers are concerning. Regardless of age, volunteering in clinical research allows you an opportunity to ensure the safest and most effective treatments for future generations.

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine studies currently enrolling here at ActivMed Practices & Research, contact our Portsmouth, NH location at (603) 319-8863, or visit our website.

References:

https://www.fda.gov/patients/clinical-trials-what-patients-need-know/diversity-clinical-trial-participation

https://www.pfizer.com/news/featured_stories/featured_stories_detail/diversity_in_clinical_trials_why_it_s_important

https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2020/range-of-subjects-in-vaccine-trials.html

December 4, 2020
Holiday-Proof your type 2 diabetes, clinical research

When you have type 2 diabetes (T2D), you become accustomed to monitoring the foods and drinks you put into your body. It takes dedication, consistency, and sheer willpower to manage this, and a lot of those diagnosed remove temptations in their homes for added success. Then come the holidays peppered with things that drive up blood sugar levels and threaten a diabetic’s delicate management system. It is a sore spot for diabetes patients around the globe. The reality is, by attacking it head-on, you can holiday-proof your type 2 diabetes and still keep your condition on track.

Better Choices Without Deprivation

Type 2 diabetes is a condition that affects the body’s ability to use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is secreted by our pancreas. It has many functions, but concerning diabetes, it helps the cells in our bodies absorb and process sugar (glucose) in the blood for energy. When the body is resistant to insulin, sugars do not get absorbed as they should. This results in high sugar levels, and if this continues for long enough, it can wreak havoc on your body. While our body produces some sugar amounts naturally, most sugar comes from what we eat or drink.

Older woman smiling, children in backround playing next to christmas tree, T2D, clinical trials

Managing healthy blood sugar levels is achieved by a healthy diet, exercise, and following treatment recommendations made by your doctor. The holidays can be challenging because so much can be out of your control. What’s on the menu and the time you eat can significantly impact your ability to make good choices when added to the constant barrage of temptation. While healthy options are the best, letting yourself be a little flexible will help you get through without the guilt. Here are some simple ways you can set yourself up for success:

  • Don’t skip meals to “save up” for the feast.
  • Eat as close to your regular mealtimes as possible. If you can’t, eat a small snack to keep blood sugar levels from dropping.
  • Offer to bring a healthy dish.
  • Cut back on carbs like bread and potatoes if you want a sweet treat.
  • Start with vegetables first to curb your appetite.
  • It takes 20 minutes for your brain to realize you are full. Eat slowly.

Exercise helps balance out those extra calories and reduces stress. You can walk after a family meal, or pick another way to get that heart rate up, keep movement in your daily schedule.

T2D has no cure, but it can be managed, clinical research

1.5 million Americans receive a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes every year. Clinical research studies help us learn more about this chronic condition. The knowledge learned paves the way for improved ways to detect, manage, and eventually prevent T2D. We are currently looking for participants to enroll in our type 2 diabetes studies here at ActivMed Practices & Research, LLC. To learn more about these studies at our Methuen, MA location, visit our study website.

References:

https://www.bannerhealth.com/healthcareblog/better-me/tips-to-keep-type-2-diabetes-in-check-this-holiday-season

https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/features/holidays-healthy-eating.html

https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/features/sweet-holiday-tips-diabetics

November 24, 2020
ActivMed joins the fight to end COVID-19, boxing gloves, clinical research

Earlier this month, ActivMed announced it is now joining this Phase III study for a potential vaccine against COVID-19. There are currently no available vaccines in the U.S., and safe and effective ones would have a significant public health impact. Further testing is needed through clinical research studies, but every day we edge closer to FDA approval and availability to the public. In the meantime, we must be diligent about following the CDCs’ recommendations for protecting ourselves. November is also National Healthy Skin Month, and nothing goes better with COVID-19 prevention measures than good hygiene.

National Healthy Skin Month

November is National Healthy Skin Month, and it’s fitting the body’s largest organ, the skin, gets some well-deserved attention. Your skin plays a vital role in your overall health by acting as a protective barrier against harmful things in the environment and keeps moisture in. It helps us feel different sensations and protects us from the heat and cold.

To keep your skin functioning as it should, you need to take care of it. Practice good hygiene by cleaning it regularly, wash hands before eating and after being in public, and see a dermatologist if any skin issues persist. Moisturize daily, protect your skin from the sun with sunscreen while outside, and hydrate throughout every day. View more tips from AAD here.

COVID-19 Vaccine- What You Need to Know

While the news of Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccine effectiveness is promising, there are still steps we need to take before the entire public has access to a safe and effective vaccine. Also, these two aren’t the only vaccines in development and testing. Furthermore, additional time is needed to understand the long-term immunity and effects.

There are currently 236 vaccines in development, and around 40 are being tested in clinical research studies. Typically, vaccines take years to develop and test. However, thanks to programs like Operation Warp Speed and FDA fast-tracking, COVID-19 vaccines and treatments get priority and move quickly through the process. Developers in the later stages of research can apply for emergency authorization use, which would make them available sooner if approved by the FDA.

Even if granted, until the vaccines’ manufacturing ramps up, they will be released in smaller quantities, giving vulnerable populations like the elderly or those at high risk of severe complications from COVID priority. Those that remain would see availability open a few months later.

Join the Fight with ActivMed

“Our team at ActivMed looks forward to helping bring a vaccine against COVID-19 and a hopeful end to the pandemic. We hope you will help as we are looking for trial participants. We are trying to provide as safe an environment as possible. We are following CDC recommendations for participant safety. It is through this collaboration that we will be able to conduct this monumental endeavor. Looking forward to seeing you in our Portsmouth, N.H. site!”- Principal Investigator Michael J. McCartney, M.D. and Chief Medical Director at ActivMed.

Are you ready to join the fight against COVID-19? Get started today by visiting our website to learn more about the COVID-19 studies enrolling at our Portsmouth, NH location.

References:

https://nationaltoday.com/national-healthy-skin-month/

November 11, 2020
Alzheimers

November is recognized as National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month! Every 65 seconds, an American develops Alzheimer’s disease. Approximately 5.7 million Americans are diagnosed with the progressive brain disease that destroys memories and cognitive ability. Family members across the world deal with watching their loved ones gradually lose their memory and eventually their independence.

Clinical research sites, including ActivMed, have invested time and energy in learning more about Alzheimer’s disease, and ultimately working towards a cure. However, the work being done by the professional medical community cannot happen without volunteers. It is the participants in clinical trials who play a crucial role in accelerating Alzheimer’s research.

The Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation (GAP) seeks to honor the necessity of clinical trial participants. The organization understands that volunteers are essential in ultimately finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. In effort to pay tribute to these volunteers, GAP created an award called the Citizen Scientist Award. This distinction is given to four individuals each year who have participated in Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials.

ActivMed is one of GAP’s research sites and part of the network committed to conducting clinical trials related to Alzheimer’s disease. We celebrate ActivMed’s nominees for the 2020 Citizen Scientist Award! Ted Boileau, Alan Hall and Katherine Hall each represent individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or someone at risk of developing the disease. While their motivations may be different, we are encouraged by their desire to be part of finding a cure for Alzheimer’s. They are three of the countless individuals who participate in clinical research each year.

The nominees for the Citizen Scientist Award were honored at the 7th Annual Trish Vradenburg Gala in October. The virtual event benefited UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, an organization pressing for greater urgency from government, industry and the scientific community in the quest for an Alzheimer’s cure. The organization plays a crucial role in educating the public, mobilizing volunteers and raising the funds that enable Alzheimer’s disease research to progress.

alzheimers

Organizations have the ability to advocate on a national level for Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, volunteer support of local research helps the medical community work towards identifying a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Without volunteer participation in clinical research and their encouragement to recruit new volunteers, Alzheimer’s research would not be possible. ActivMed applauds all participants for their willingness to be on the front line in the fight to end Alzheimer’s.

For more information about participating in a local research study, call 978-655-7155 or learn more about which studies are currently enrolling volunteers.

November 5, 2020

Terry Stubbs, CEO and President

ActivMed Practices & Research, LLC

For Immediate Release 11/5/2020

ActivMed joins clinical trial examining potential vaccine for COVID-19

Portsmouth, NH: Today, ActivMed Practices & Research, LLC, a private clinical research site, announced that they have joined a clinical trial to examine the safety and efficacy of a vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 in adults.  The trial’s Principal Investigator is Michael J. McCartney, M.D., ActivMed’ s Chief Medical Director, and he will be overseeing the study in the Portsmouth, NH location.

ActivMed has recently completed a clinical trial for a COVID-19 antibody test and is now joining this Phase III study for a potential vaccine. Study participants must be at least 18 years old, in good general health, and have had no previous positive COVID-19 test results.

Currently, there are no specific treatments available against COVID-19 and accelerated vaccine development is urgently needed. A safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 prevention would have significant public health impact.

 “Our team at ActivMed looks forward to help bring a vaccine against COVID-19 and a hopeful end to the pandemic.” says Dr. McCartney about this opportunity. He goes on to say “We hope you will help, as we are looking for trial participants. We are trying to provide as safe an environment as possible. We are following CDC recommendations for participant safety. It is through this collaboration that we will be able to conduct this monumental endeavor. Looking forward to seeing you in our Portsmouth, N.H. site!”

Preliminary studies show promising results. The vaccine is not approved in the United States and requires further testing before presenting data for approval by the FDA. The study will be conducted in approximately 100 sites across the U.S. and looks to enroll 30, 000 total participants. The study is sponsored by AstraZeneca.

Anyone interested in participating can visit https://www.c19vaccinestudy.com/#!/ for more information.

About ActivMed Practices & Research, Inc.: ActivMed is a clinical research network with 4 locations, based in Methuen, MA. Founded in 1994, ActivMed has conducted over 800 clinical trials, offering the same trials that are available in Boston hospitals without the hassle of travel and parking.

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Posted in Blog | Tags:
October 30, 2020
Woman thinking with hand under chin, HS, clinical research

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a skin condition that causes painful lumps to form under the skin. HS can persist for years, often worsening over time, and can profoundly impact a person emotionally and physically. Hidradenitis suppurativa is not contagious or a result of poor hygiene. There is still a lot to learn about it, but clinical research studies are helping to improve the lives of those affected.

What HS Looks Like

Woman laying on couch, HS, clinical research

The lumps that form under the skin mainly affect where the skin folds or rubs together like the armpits, groin, buttocks, and breasts. The condition typically starts after puberty and can begin in a single area or multiple ones. Symptoms include:

  • Small pitted areas containing blackheads, often appearing in pairs.
  • Painful small bumps that persist for weeks or months. These appear in areas where there are many sweat and oil glands or where skin rubs together.
  • Tunnels connecting the lumps may form over time. These are slow to heal and may never fully repair themselves. They can also leak pus, which can have an odor.

What Causes HS?

HS, woman pointing at under arm

Hidradenitis suppurativa develops when the hair follicles in the skin become blocked. What causes the follicle to become blocked remains a mystery, but experts believe family history, hormones, and immune system issues play a role in its development. HS is most common in women between the ages of 18 and 29. Other risk factors are family history, smoking, and obesity.

How HS is Treated

The symptoms of HS can appear as other skin conditions, so seeing a dermatologist who is trained to know the differences is a no-brainer. There is no cure for HS, but treating it can reduce pain and flare-ups and heal the wounds. Wound care, self-care, pain control, addressing any infection, medication, and in-office procedures are all methods of how HS is treated. In 2015, the first treatment specific to HS was approved by the FDA thanks to clinical research studies and their volunteers’ work. Humira noticeably reduces the number of lumps for those with moderate to severe HS symptoms. Though this is great news, more options are necessary to meet the individual needs of everyone suffering from this disease.

HS genetic, clinical research, pink and white woman icon

As a research study volunteer, you play a role in bettering the healthcare for those with chronic conditions like HS. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with hidradenitis suppurativa, clinical research studies here at ActivMed may be an option. To learn more about the HS studies enrolling at our Portsmouth, NH location, click here. For the HS studies at our Beverly, MA location, click here.

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hidradenitis-suppurativa/symptoms-causes/syc-20352306

https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/hidradenitis-suppurativa-treatment

October 1, 2020
National health education week blog, chalkboard

Every 3rd week in October, National Health Education Week kicks off. Ran by the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE), the events are focused on increasing national awareness on major public health issues. They also work to promote a better understanding of the role of health care. ActivMed shares this passion through our community education events that increase public awareness about clinical research studies. In spite of many events having been canceled in the wake of the 2020 social distancing requirements, indeed, we remain open and focused on education efforts. 

Free Health Screenings

baseline memory screen, group of people, community

ActivMed proudly offers several free screenings that will help you take the actions necessary to live a healthier life. These include:

  • Blood Glucose– The test is used to evaluate if your blood sugar levels are in a healthy range. 
  • Depression– This simple survey is used to assess if you are suffering from depression. Then, we can determine what resources might be available.
  • Baseline Memory Screening– The screening determines any changes to your memory. Also, the screen can see if there may be an existing health issue that may need attention.
  • Blood Pressure– Will look for any ongoing heart disease or other heart-related conditions. 
  • Pulmonary Screening– Will evaluate how well the lungs are working. 

Dementia Resources

Not all dementia-related memory issues are caused by Alzheimer’s. That’s why we have put together resources for the community. This is in addition to our free baseline memory screening here at ActivMed. Learn more about accessing and using Medicare Part A benefits, treatment options for dementia. You can also watch our resources presentation through our YouTube channel.

Clinical Research Studies

Research studies, research volunteer, doctor talking to patient

ActivMed, along with its four free-standing clinical research sites, have completed over 800 clinical research studies with associated private practices. Research studies and the volunteers who participate in them help advance how we detect, treat, and prevent major public health issues. Often, volunteers learn more about their condition, receive payment for time and travel, and obtain diagnostic tests and care at no charge. All while helping to advance medicine. 

To learn more about how you can participate in one of the free screenings, research, or other events, visit our website.

Reference:

September 21, 2020
pain awareness month

Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts longer than 12 weeks. It may have originated from an injury or is the result of a medical condition like osteoarthritis or diabetic neuropathy. Chronic pain faces many stigmas because society believes if an ailment isn’t visible, it doesn’t exist. For the more than 100 million Americans who deal with it daily, stigma is one more thing they don’t need to deal with. September is Pain Awareness Month. It was created by chronic pain sufferers to bring awareness to the community about issues that surround pain and pain management.

lower back pain

The Face of Chronic Pain

Pain is something we all experience at some point but imagine living with it every day. That is the reality of people that have chronic pain, and it can happen to anyone. Celebrities often make us common-folk think that their lives are perfect, and they have the world at their fingertips. But more and more, we are seeing them speak out about different issues we never knew they had. If you’ve ever seen the movie Dirty Dancing, you remember Jennifer Grey’s arched back in the arms of Patrick Swayze in their dances. You would never know she has suffered from chronic back pain since a car accident in 1987. She’s still dancing thanks to advice from her doctor and repair surgery.

Fitness guru and The Doctors co-host Jillian Michaels has been whipping us into shape for years with her no excuses trademark mentality. From the outside, you would never know she has endometriosis, an often-painful disorder. She suffered from debilitating abdominal cramps before finding relief in an all organic, non-processed diet. George Clooney no longer does the action, and stunt sequences in his roles due to a back injury suffered while filming Syriana in 2005. Before numerous corrective surgeries, his pain was so bad; he considered taking his own life. Although his injury never fully healed, he continues his passion for acting, with modifications.

The Cost of Chronic Pain

The cost of chronic pain spans much further than the estimated 635-billion-dollar annual cost of those diagnosed and society for healthcare costs, lost workdays, and lowered wages. Chronic pain sufferers juggle challenges at work both for limitations and missed days. Living with daily pain is also often associated with mental health issues due to activity limitations, reduced quality of life, and social life changes. I think we can all agree that it is too much for any person to deal with alone. If you have a family member or loved one with chronic pain, listen and learn how to support them better.

chronic pain studies statistics

With the cost of chronic pain being more than heart disease and cancer treatments, the pressure is on to improve options for pain and reduce costs. Clinical research studies help evaluate new promising therapies that hope to achieve that goal. ActivMed is currently looking into new potential options for those that suffer from chronic pain. Qualified participants must have chronic pain in the knees from osteoarthritis, lower back pain, or foot pain due to diabetic neuropathy. To learn more about the chronic pain studies enrolling at our Methuen, MA location, call (978) 655-7155, or click here.

References:

https://www.foxnews.com/health/famous-people-who-live-with-chronic-pain

https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=162927

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2729797

September 16, 2020
virtual tour of Portsmouth site

Take a virtual tour of our Portsmouth clinical research site. Conveniently located on the Pease Tradeport, this site is easily accessible to I-95. Our doctor’s office setting makes participating in research a comfortable experience. The Portsmouth site conducts many of our dermatology clinical trials, but also conducts studies in other therapeutic areas.

For more information on how you can get involved in clinical research happening here in Portsmouth, please call 603-319-8863 or browse enrolling studies here.

If you are a sponsor looking for a site for your study, see our Feasibilities page here.

Posted in Blog, Uncategorized
September 2, 2020

At ActivMed, we enjoy being an active leader in our community. Our passion for educating others about clinical trials through local events has been met with challenges during the global pandemic. While we miss the “face time” with others, we have refocused our efforts into virtual presentations. In addition, our research studies continue as well as our baseline memory screenings via telehealth, or by in-person appointment. September is World Alzheimer’s Month, and we are determined to continue sharing our knowledge as industry leaders.

Get Involved

While many events have been canceled this year, there are still ways to get involved during World Alzheimer’s Month. September is a time to recognize the impact of dementia on all global and local levels. The stigma and misinformation surrounding Alzheimer’s and other dementias require action on a worldwide level. To get involved, visit alz.org.

Although social distancing has put a damper on our annual events, we still have some great ways to spread awareness and advance medicine for Alzheimer’s. You can register for upcoming treatment options and information about Alzheimer’s and memory loss, view our virtual presentation on dementia resources, book your free baseline memory screening, or browse our enrolling studies. Find these events and more on our events page.

Alzheimer’s Diagnosis Stories

Roger started experiencing changes when he was 68. He was a little over a year into his retirement and began to withdraw from things he once loved. Given his family history of depression, Roger was initially prescribed depression medication thinking he wasn’t happy in his retirement. After his symptoms did not improve, he was referred for a psychiatric evaluation. During the exam, it was found he lacked emotional expressions, had trouble doing simple subtraction, and could not draw hands on a clock at the directed time. At 71, Roger was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Mike Balson was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease at 58. He and his wife Julie want the world to know that living with this disease is nothing like that found in the movie, “The Notebook,” it doesn’t just affect older people, or the ability to remember at the end of one’s life. Mike was always keen-minded, and his wife Julia knew something was off when she found a paycheck in a cookbook. After eventually needing help for Mike to do everyday things, they appreciate the lifelines of support offered by the Alzheimer’s Association with their mountain of resources and encouragement.

Free baseline memory screen

Soon, a cure for Alzheimer’s will be found. In the meantime, through research studies, better ways to manage it are being discovered. As a volunteer in clinical research studies, you play a vital role in advancing those possibilities. To learn more about getting involved in our currently enrolling Alzheimer’s studies, visit our website.

References:

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/alzheimers/patient-story-alzheimer

https://www.alz.org/blog/alz/june_2016/alzheimer_s_a_real_love_story%E2%80%A6

https://www.worldalzmonth.org/

August 26, 2020

Resources for Dementia- You are not alone

ActivMed and several community partners discuss no cost memory screenings, recent changes to Medicare benefits, physical therapy, and more.

Importance of Memory Screenings

Each year an annual check-up will review your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, but why not memory?

A memory screening is a simple and safe evaluation with a trained professional to check memory and thinking skills.

A baseline memory screening will be able to provide your physician with information to help monitor changes in memory over time. Early detection can allow you to work with your doctor and make lifestyle changes or develop treatment plans.

Not all dementia is caused by Alzheimer’ disease. A memory screening may help to discover underlying medical conditions that could be contributing to memory decline.

ActivMed Practices & Research offers baseline memory screenings to the community at no cost. It is recommended that anyone over 55 get screened annually.

Learn more here, or call 978-655-7155.

Dementia Care Resources and Support in the Home

Accessing and Utilizing Medicare Part A Benefits- Jennifer with Elara Caring

There have been some recent changes in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services due to COVID-19. Previously “homebound” statuses were strict. Due to COVID-19, they have been changed, increasing access to more home health benefits. Telehealth visits are also approved as an option.

Elara Caring has been working on assessing the needs of patients. Creating best practices for the dementia patients is also a goal. One important initiative is assessing the safety needs of patient. Keeping patients out of the hospital in the COVID-19 environment as much as possible is important.

Falling is a common safety risk for seniors.

  • 1 in 4 adults over 65 fall each year
  • 1 in 3 who fall, suffer an injury
  • Of those who fall, 1 in 4 die as a result of their fall injury
  • 1 in 2 seniors who fall, will fall again

Families and senior care facilities should have conversations on the types of care needed and advance care planning. There should also be plans in place for Hospice and palliative care. Elara has Dementia Certified Staff who can help with these uncomfortable conversations. These staff are able to help determine when a patient becomes eligible for the hospice medicare benefit.

Dementia: How Therapy Can Help- Nancy VanBenschoten, Arete Rehab

Therapy can provide treatment interventions throughout the stages of dementia to help individuals maximize their qualify of life and lower risk of falls. Various types of therapies can also help those with dementia maintain independence.

Providing education and support for the family, care providers, clients, and promoting the person’s strengths will ensure that those with dementia and their caregivers have the support needed to live life to the fullest.

Nancy VanBenschoten

Regular exercise and physical therapy can help reduce risk of falls, by helping with balance and gait.

Occupational therapy helps promote wellness and health. While these physical therapies may not reduce cognitive decline, they may help patients to be able to maintain independence. By maintaining strength and range of motion, patients can continue with their daily habits.

Speech therapy can also assist those with dementia and caregivers alike. By providing tools and strategies, therapy can help improve communication.

“Therapy is available through VNA services as well as Medicare Part B providers. “We always recommend if they can get a Part A provider, that gives them a longer time with therapy, and then upon discharge, a person can take on a Medicare Part B provider.” says Nancy. It gives caregivers other options for care that are covered by their health insurance.

In the current environment of COVID-19, all home health service providers and patients should be following all safety guidelines.

The Senior Gems® Program- Stages of Dementia

Senior Helpers uses a unique approach to caring for those with dementia. The Senior Gems approach was designed by Teepa Snow, an occupational therapist and partner of Senior Helpers. The program is a method for identifying characteristics of normal aging through late stage dementia.

Based on the Allen Cognitive Disability Theory, the gems are used to focus on what people can do, not their limitations. The six levels, or gems, range from Level 6- Sapphire- not having dementia, but experiencing memory loss, to Level 1- Pearl, which is the end-of-life phase.

By using the gems to categorize a person’s abilities and stage, Senior Helpers are able to provide the best care possible.

You can learn more about the stages of the Senior Gems program here.

Thank you to all the speakers for sharing their time and knowledge.

Check out the entire presentation and the Q&A session at the end.

Posted in Events | Tags:
August 20, 2020

Black-legged ticks have long reigned terror across the nation as they are the carrier of Lyme disease. Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne infectious disease, reaching epidemic levels with more than 300,000 cases reported each year. Northeastern parts of the U.S. are particularly troublesome since they have the highest incidence rates in the country. When caught and treated early, Lyme disease is quickly treated in most cases. However, if left alone, it can cause long term issues.

The Dangers of Lyme Disease

Lyme disease’s initial symptoms are fever, headache, fatigue, and rash, which often looks like a bullseye. Most cases can be treated with antibiotics over a few weeks. In more severe cases or ones that go undetected, the infection can spread to the joints, heart, and nervous system.

Although 70-80% of the cases develop a rash, but not every case does, and not all look like a bullseye. In the absence of a rash, most severe cases are unaware an infected tick has bitten them; therefore, they do not seek treatment.

Prevalence in Children

Annually, approximately 75,000 children and adolescents are diagnosed with Lyme disease. That is more than all combined pediatric cancer cases, type 1 diabetes, cystic fibrosis, and epilepsy. Children aged 5-9 are the highest affected simply because of how Lyme disease is transmitted. Adult ticks are about the size of a sesame seed, and the babies are the size of a poppy seed and are hardest to see. They thrive in areas overgrown with grass, brush, and leaf litter.

The ticks wait for animals or humans to pass by as they sit waiting on top of the grass and leaves with top arms outstretched, and bottom arms are holding on. Once they hitch a ride, they are found on the scalp, armpits, and groin area. It takes 3-4 days of attachment for the bacterium to be transmitted. Avoiding tick hot spots, checking your body after being outside, and other preventative measures can help tremendously.

The Future of Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed or missed altogether due to the unreliability of tests. Clinical research studies are bringing us closer to obtaining accurate diagnostic options for Lyme disease. ActivMed is currently looking for adult and child participants for a Lyme disease study looking into new possibilities. Healthy volunteers without a history of Lyme disease and those just diagnosed are needed.

To learn more, please select your nearest location:

Beverly, MA

Methuen, MA

Portsmouth, NH

References:

http://www.childrenslymenetwork.org/children-lyme/lyme-disease-overview

https://manchesterinklink.com/tick-talk-lyme-disease-prevention-tips-nh-dhhs

https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/transmission/index.html

 

August 12, 2020

ActivMed is now recruiting patients for a new study to address a disease that is widespread in the Northeast– Lyme disease.

This disease is often missed – or misdiagnosed – due to unreliable tests.  ActivMed is joining this study, called ImmuneSense Lyme, to see if we can help develop better tests that could diagnose acute Lyme disease earlier and more accurately.

If you suspect you have Lyme disease – or have been recently diagnosed – your immune system may hold key information that can help advance novel diagnostic tests for the disease. You are eligible to participate if you have the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease, including a bulls-eye rash or body aches, or were recently diagnosed and have not taken antibiotics for more than 3 days.

 

Participation is easy – you can come to our office to have your blood sample collected, or you can schedule an at-home visit, compliant with all social distancing guidelines. You will be compensated $50 for study participation.

About ImmuneSense Lyme

ImmuneSense Lyme is a study to help advance novel diagnostics for the disease. Your immune system may be able to tell us important information about how our own bodies detect and respond to the disease that current tests cannot. De-identified data collected from this study may accelerate the development of better diagnostics for Lyme disease and improve outcomes for many.

About Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans via infected ticks. According to Global Lyme Alliance, there are estimates of 427,000 new cases of Lyme disease in the US every year. However, only about 30% of people with acute Lyme infections have a positive test result with existing diagnostic tests because the disease is difficult to detect in its earliest stages when it is easiest to treat. If left untreated, Lyme disease can become a serious illness for many people, but if caught early, Lyme disease can typically be treated with antibiotics and long-term complications can be avoided.

If you have recently spent time outdoors, taking part in activities such as hiking, camping, gardening, dog-walking, or more, and present with some of the below symptoms, there might be cause to suspect Lyme disease and seek a diagnosis: Bulls-eye rash, body aches, fever, breathlessness, eye pain, diarrhea, chest tightness, headache, fatigue or joint pain.

*Note: This study is not for those with chronic Lyme disease

To learn more and to see if you qualify, contact us:

Methuen, MA – 978-655-7155, or apply here

Beverly, MA – 978-969-6897, or apply here

Portsmouth, NH- 603-319-8863, or apply here

 

Posted in Blog
August 11, 2020

ActivMed announces it’s 2020 Citizen Scientist Nominees

 

Terry Stubbs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 11, 2020

ActivMed Practices & Research, Inc.                                      

978-655-7155

info@activmedresearch.com

 

2020 Citizen Scientist Awards®

 Methuen, MA: Today, Activmed Practices & Research, Inc., a private clinical research site, announced the nominees for the 2020 Citizen Scientist Awards®.

For the second year in a row, ActivMed has nominated a select few of their study participants for this first-of-its-kind award to celebrate Alzheimer’s disease clinical trial participants. ActivMed is part of a network of sites affiliated with the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation (GAP). GAP is a network of more than 80 private and academic clinical trial sites across the U.S. and Canada.

Each nominated individual will be presented with a certificate for being named a Citizen Scientist Award® Nominee. Four selected honorees will be chosen from all GAP-Net sites and will be recognized at the annual National Alzheimer’s Summit in Washington D.C., held in the fall of each year.

According to a 2016 Harris Poll undertaken by GAP, 60% of Americans are willing or would consider participation in Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials, but fewer than 10% do so. ActivMed works alongside GAP to increase awareness of clinical trials, through education about the disease and what participation involves.

A lack of volunteers for Alzheimer’s clinical trials is one of the greatest obstacles slowing the progress of potential new treatments.

This year’s nominees are:

Ted Boileau- Champion Award

Haverhill, MA

Ted has a personal dedication to contributing to the advancement of treatments for Alzheimer’s, having watched his father struggle with the disease. With a background in the pharmaceutical industry, Ted is passionate about bringing new options to future generations.

 

 

Alan Hall- Cornerstone Award

 

Orr’s Island, ME

Alan travels 250 miles roundtrip to participate in an Alzheimer’s clinical trial. His committment to helping future generations and gaining a sense of control over his health is evident in his positive attitude.

 

 

Katherine Hall- Collaborator Award

Orr’s Island, ME

New in 2020, the Collaborator Award aims to recognize the heroes that contribute to making participation in an Alzheimer’s study possible. Study partneres are crucial in helping participants attend study visits, and offer insights into any changes that may happen over time. Katherine travels with her husband Alan Hall from Maine to our Methuen office for monthly study visits. Katherine is also involved in a local community support group for Alzheimer’s.

 

We congratulate the nominees for 2020, and appreciate their committment to participating in research studies.

GAP’s philosophy is “the only way to find treatments and cures for Alzheimer’s is through clinical trials and these volunteers make that research possible”.

About ActivMed Practices & Research, Inc.: ActivMed is a clinical research network with 4 locations, based in Methuen, MA. Founded in 1994, ActivMed has conducted over 800 clinical trials, offering

the same trials that are available in Boston hospitals without the hassle of travel and parking. ActivMed was voted One of the Top 25 places to Work North of Boston for 2014 by North of Boston Business Magazine.

###

 

August 1, 2020

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). NIAM’s purpose is to promote the importance of vaccines by educating the public on how they prevent serious, and often deadly diseases. With the COVID-19 US death toll currently sitting at almost 145,000 lives lost, the urgency for a vaccine and effective treatment grow with each passing moment.

History of Vaccines

In 1796, a country doctor by the name of Edward Jenner created the first vaccine. He took the pus from a milkmaid’s hand with a cowpox lesion and inoculated eight-year-old James Phipps, who had smallpox. His experiments laid the foundation for vaccinology. Vaccines are humanity’s greatest triumph over diseases like polio, smallpox, whooping cough, measles, and more. These diseases resulted in infant mortality rates of 20% just a little more than a century ago.

Vaccines help our body remember how to fight illnesses. When your immune system encounters a germ, it fights it off over several days while it makes and uses all the germ-fighting tools it needs to beat it. In this process, the immune system remembers what is necessary to protect the body in the future. It puts this information into memory cells, and the next time it encounters that same germ, it can quickly overcome it. Vaccines work similarly by imitating an infection. They rarely cause illness, but your immune system produces the needed antibodies to fight it. Some vaccines require repeated doses to complete immunity.

The Fight to End COVID-19

Around the world, over 165 vaccines are being developed by researchers against the coronavirus. 27 are in human trials. Although vaccines typically take years to become publicly available, scientists are racing to deliver a safe and effective vaccine by 2021. Moderna’s  mRNA-127 vaccine phase III trial began 7/27.  Astra Zeneca, Sinopharm, Murdoch Children’s Institute, and Sinovac all have vaccines in phase 3 trials.

None of these potential new vaccines would ever become available without research studies and the volunteers participating in them. Research studies give every able person the ability to advance medicine and help end diseases like COVID-19. Get involved in future studies by calling (603) 319-8863, or click here.

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/conversations/downloads/vacsafe-understand-color-office.pdf

https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/full/10.1377/hlthaff.24.3.611

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/science/coronavirus-vaccine-tracker.html

https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/campaigns/immunizations/Pages/default.aspx

July 21, 2020

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that impairs memory and many other essential mental functions. Although the changes are more subtle at first, eventually those diagnosed will need the help of a caregiver to perform their daily tasks. In many cases, the caregiver is a loved one or family member that volunteers to support them. Being a caregiver can be physically, emotionally, and mentally draining. Learning to care for yourself is the best way to ensure you will be there to care for your loved one.

From Care Partner to Caregiver and Burnout

In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, many function independently, and your role is more of a care partner who will help support and plan for the future of your loved one. As the disease progresses, their reliance on you will continue to increase until they need you 100%. Navigating the physical and emotional ups and downs of this journey can test even the most patient souls. It can be all-consuming, and just like any fire, it will eventually burn itself out.

Approximately 15 million Americans provide unpaid care to an older adult. Those that provide substantial care are more likely to have physical and emotional health issues. Caregiver burnout is real and can snowball over time. Recognizing the signs of burnout can help you get the help you need to continue providing the best care possible.

Signs of Caregiver Burnout:

  • You have much less energy and always exhausted
  • Increasingly impatient and irritable with who you are caring for
  • Neglectful of your own needs
  • You get sick more often

How to be a Healthy Caregiver

One of the most important things you can do as a caregiver is to take care of yourself. Keep your health a priority by seeing your doctor when needed, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet. The National Institute on Aging also recommends:

  • Ask for help, and take it when you need it
  • Take breaks during the day
  • Join a support group online or in-person
  • Spend time with friends

Research for a Better Future Free of Alzheimer’s

As an Alzheimer’s caregiver, you witness firsthand how this disease changes a person until very few pieces remain of their former selves. Alzheimer’s has no cure, and there is no way to stop the progression of it. Scientists and researchers are hard at work, identifying potential new ways to detect, prevent, manage, and eventually cure it. Clinical research studies and volunteers who participate in them provide a way to determine if they are safe and effective.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, research studies may be an option. All Alzheimer’s participants must have a study partner that spends some time with them during the week, to accompany them to some of the study visits. This relationship provides researchers additional insight into the changes that have occurred over time with the patient. Participating in research may provide caregivers another layer of support and education about memory loss.

Caregivers do not need to attend each study visit, sometimes allowing the flexibility to do some shopping or enjoy some alone time. Regular assessments at study visits and conversations with study staff also help caregivers stay informed on their loved one’s health. Caregivers make many decisions with and for their loved ones, consider participating in a research study.

To learn more about the Alzheimer’s studies currently enrolling at our Methuen, MA location, call (978) 655-7155, or click here.

References:

https://www.alz.org/help-support/caregiving

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/getting-help-alzheimers-caregiving

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/caregiver-stress-and-burnout.htm

July 14, 2020

Alzheimer’s Research: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

On June 18, 2020, we had our first Virtual Alzheimer’s Presentation! Our Chief Medical Director, Dr. Michael J. McCartney, took some time to talk about the history of Alzheimer’s and the research we are working on today.

A brief history of Alzheimer’s

 

  • Alois Alzheimer – German neurologist discovered the disease in 1906.
  • At the time, the disease was only able to be diagnosed through an autopsy of the brain after death.
  • First diagnosed patient was Auguste Deter.

From 1906 to 2020, there has been progress along the way, but research is recent. The first Alzheimer’s drug trial was in 1987, and yet there are only 5 FDA- approved drugs available in the U.S today. These drugs only temporarily help memory and thinking problems but do not treat the underlying causes of the disease or slow its progression. There is still no cure for this disease.

No NEW drugs have been approved since 2003, although there is some promise in a new drug that Biogen is planning to file a Biologics License Application with the FDA for this year. If approved, the anti-amyloid antibody, aducanumab, would be the first approval in 16 years.

Current Alzheimer’s Research

Around the world, there are approximately 600 clinical trials looking at new treatments for Alzheimer’s.

There are two types of Alzheimer’s treatment trials:

  1. Treatments aimed at reducing symptoms.
  2. Treatments aimed at slowing or stopping the disease.

Prevention trials:

Researchers hope that early intervention in individuals at increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s will prevent cognitive decline.

Studies on other types of treatments such as:

  • Medications
  • Dietary supplements
  • Non-drug therapies
    • Behavioral interventions
    • Exercise / Nutrition
    • Physical treatments including acupuncture, electromagnetic devices, light therapy devices and even surgery.

Local Studies being done at ActivMed

Over the last 12 years, ActivMed has conducted 18 clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease. We focus on Alzheimer’s in our Methuen and Lawrence, MA sites, where we also work with New England Neurological Associates.

Types of studies we have done include device studies, non-invasive (non-drug), and drug therapies.

Alzheimer’s studies focus on early memory loss, mild-to-moderate stages, or healthy subjects.

A lack of volunteers for Alzheimer’s clinical trials is one of the greatest obstacles slowing the progress of potential new treatments.

Community Awareness

ActivMed is also partnered with the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation, a non-profit organization, to help move research forward by raising awareness for clinical research to increase participation. As a GAP-Net site, we work together to educate and engage with our community for Alzheimer’s research.

We are partnered with GAP to share information about a current Alzheimer’s clinical trial called the Clarity Study.

The Clarity AD Study is underway to evaluate an investigational drug in adults who suffer from memory loss. If this sounds like you or a loved one, consider enrolling today.

You may qualify if you:

  • Are between the ages of 50 and 90
  • Have a study partner willing to attend clinic appointments with you
  • Have a recent history of memory decline with gradual progression over the last year

If you qualify and participate you will receive study- related testing and medical care as well as travel stipend.

Contact us today to see if you or a loved one may qualify. Call 978-655-7155 or click here.

Memory loss or normal aging?

Many people might experience some memory issues and may be stressed or worried but are afraid to seek help. Most primary care doctors check your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, but don’t check your memory.

Recommended for adults over age 50, a memory screening can offer a baseline to be able to determine if there are changes each year. At ActivMed, we offer these screenings to the community at no cost to you. We do not bill your insurance, and only share the results with your doctor if you request it.

These assessments can be done in our office or as a telehealth appointment. The test takes about 15 to 20 minutes where we ask questions that will test different cognitive areas. Your privacy and health information are protected under HIPAA guidelines. We will not share or sell your information.

Call 978-655-7155 for more information

You can watch the entire presentation below and hear the questions and answers at the end.

 

 

 

 

July 8, 2020

Summertime symbolizes beaches, tiki torches, mosquitos, and late-night fun. However, for the many individuals who have skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, it means another season that brings, in some cases, a rollercoaster of symptoms that can flare-up more often than not. Skincare is essential all year, but with a little know-how, you can help keep the lid on summer skin issues.

Eczema and Psoriasis Summertime Care

Let’s look at two of the most common skin conditions and what you can do to manage during these summer months.

Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)

Managing eczema during any time of the year can be a challenge due to it flaring up in extreme heat and cold fluctuations. Staying moisturized is vital in maintaining the much-needed protective barrier with eczema. Some of The National Eczema Foundation recommendations for managing the skin condition in the summer include:

  • Hydrate from the inside out by drinking plenty of water.
  • Swim! Chlorine helps eczema tremendously, but rinse and moisturize immediately after.
  • Wear loose-fitting, light clothing.
  • Carry a cooler bag with a bottle of cold water and a washcloth to wipe the sweat off right away.
  • Keep gels and lotions in the fridge to keep them cool.

Psoriasis

Summer humidity and sunshine help soothe psoriasis symptoms, while the potential dry out from chlorine and the constant AC running can trigger a flare-up. Some recommendations to keep your psoriasis better managed during this time are:

  • Protect your skin from sunburn. Approximately 50% of people with psoriasis experience Koebner phenomenon where psoriasis forms at the site of skin injury, like sunburn. Alternatively, protected and limited sun exposure is beneficial.
  • Rinse off after swimming and moisturize within three minutes of any shower. Reapply moisturizer during the day to prevent skin from drying out.
  • Saltwater can soothe psoriasis, so take that dip in the ocean!

Other Summer Skin Issues

Even without the diagnosis of a skin condition, other summer skin issues such as acne, folliculitis, heat rashes, and sun allergies can wreak havoc on summer fun. Changing out of tight, wet clothes, wearing loose-fitting clothing, and paying attention to specific plants and infested ocean waters can help you to avoid most of these. Learn more about preventing common summer skin issues on the AAD website. Also, remember to bring anything concerning to your dermatologist immediately.

Clinical Research is Improving Options for Skin Conditions

Chronic skin condition symptoms often persist despite the strictest routines and lifestyle changes. In many cases, working with a dermatologist and following their recommended treatment plan is the next step. However, there are still individuals that remain unable to benefit from the many options that exist. Clinical research studies are helping to ensure everyone has access to safe, effective skin management choices.

Volunteers participating in research studies make these opportunities possible. Qualified participants have the opportunity to gain access to potential new options not currently available and learn more about their skin condition along the way. ActivMed is currently looking for participants to enroll in a variety of dermatological studies. To explore now enrolling opportunities, click the link for our Portsmouth, NH location, or Beverly, MA location.

References:

https://nationaleczema.org/summer-tips/

https://www.everydayhealth.com/psoriasis/living-with/ways-to-soothe-psoriasis-summer

https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-secrets/routine/prevent-summer-skin-problems

July 1, 2020

ActivMed CEO, Terry Stubbs, had the opportunity to speak again at the annual MAGI clinical research conference.

The MAGI Clinical Research Cloud Conference 2020 (6/22/2020 – 7/2/2020) includes 49 online sessions, covering topics such as: clinical operation, project management & risk management, site management, contracts & budgets, regulatory compliance, and professional skills. MAGI sessions and workshops emphasize practical tips based on real-life examples, with lots of interaction.

Terry spoke 7/1/2020 on the topic of Accelerating Study Startup at the Site. Terry enjoys sharing her knowledge of over 25 years of clinical research management with other sites.

ActivMed is proud to be a MAGI Blue Ribbon Site. MAGI is helping to streamline clinical research by streamlining best practices for clinical research operations, business and regulatory compliance.

June 17, 2020
COVID-19 Study Now Enrolling

We are excited to announce that we are NOW ENROLLING for a new COVID-19 Observational Study! 

COVID-19 Study Now Enrolling

This study is for people who have had a COVID-19 test, regardless of the result, to evaluate the accuracy of an investigational antibody test.

As it is an observational study, it only requires ONE VISIT to our clinic.

To learn more about this study, please call

978-655-7155.

June 15, 2020

Stress is a way of life these days, it seems. COVID-19 has effectively changed the way we live our lives, at least for the foreseeable future. Most of us know that stress is not good for the body, but do you know how it impacts our health? Prolonged exposure to stress changes the way our brains function. To dive deeper, it reverts to its primitive functions that help us sense and respond to danger. We become faster at solving quick issues but lose the ability to plan or deal effectively with complex problems. Stress doesn’t have to run your life. With a little basic care and healthful changes, you too can embrace the stress.

Stress Relief Tips

There is so much that is beyond our control, and the truth is that stress is ever-present. Fortunately, there are things you can learn to help manage how you react to stress and help you relax your brain.

  • Meditation– Meditation can help relax your mind, and help you become less reactive to stress triggers.
  • Restructure Stress Response– Cognitive restructuring is a technique that changes the habitual thinking patterns that trigger your stress response.
  • Stress Management– Learning more about stress, stress management, and what triggers your stress response will help you feel more confident to handle what life throws at you.
  • Confide in Someone You Trust– Talk things out with a trusted loved one instead of staying in your thoughts. Surround yourself with those who will help you identify you are stressed, and when to take action.

Brain Exercises

Taking care of your brain is important at any age. Engaging in regular brain exercises helps improve memory and focus so you can keep up with daily life. In our later years, brain changes begin to affect memory, and these activities become more and more important. Jigsaw puzzles, dancing, learning a new skill, and meditation are some ways you can challenge your mind.

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. The program’s focus is on providing brain health education, resources, and tools for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. One of the ways they do this is by helping to raise money for the vital research needed to detect, treat, and eventually cure these conditions through clinical research studies.

ActivMed Practices & Research can help you take charge of your brain health. You can get involved by participating in one of the Alzheimer’s research studies at our Methuen location or take advantage of our telehealth memory screens. To learn more about our free telehealth memory screens, call the Methuen office at (978) 655-7155 or by click here.

 

References:

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/coronavirus-covid19-stress-brain

https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-relax-your-mind-3144475

https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/brain-exercises#focus

 

June 3, 2020

 We are accepting new patients

As much of the country has been shut down due to COVID-19, here at ActivMed we are still continuing to see research patients in our offices. Many of our studies were paused, but we are still enrolling for studies at each of our sites!

Accepting New Patients

Accepting new patients! Give us a call to learn more about participating in research.

Participating in research is a decision not to be taken lightly. If you are interested in learning more, just give us a call! We will be more than happy to walk you through the process of participating in research. We can also share with you how we are taking extra precautions during this challenging time, to ensure our patients are safe and healthy while visiting our sites.

You can also read about our COVID-19 updates here.

Here is a current list of all our enrolling and upcoming studies. Don’t see one that fits you? Call us anyway, so we can add you to our database for future studies. We are always bringing in new studies, and the more we know about our community’s needs, the better we can help. Enrolling Studies.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized
June 1, 2020

An estimated 50 million people are living with Alzheimer’s or other dementia. June is the inaugural commencement of Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. The Alzheimer’s Association states that “every person who has a brain is at risk.” This is the perfect time to act and create awareness for this expanding public health crisis. ActivMed is taking action in another way. With over 800 clinical trials completed between four free-standing facilities, our efforts are improving access to care and treatment planning.

Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

 

The purpose of Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month is to raise awareness about the brain, Alzheimer’s, and other dementias on a global level. June also marks a time to recognize the millions suffering from Alzheimer’s and other dementias, along with the caregivers that are so essential in their care. June 20th is the summer solstice as well as the Longest Day fundraiser which raises money towards finding a cure for Alzheimer’s. Anyone can get involved, and currently, most of the activities can be modified to meet social distancing requirements.

ActivMed’s Role in Alzheimer’s Disease and Brain Health

ActivMed Practices & Research has partnerships with more than 40 physicians and six major hospitals in greater Boston and Southern New Hampshire. The company has four clinical research offices, providing access to nearly 2.5 million people. Our Lawrence location is set-up within the New England Neurological Associates, offering those with memory loss more options.

ActivMed offers free health screenings for glucose, depression, memory, blood pressure, and pulmonary.

In response to the current social distancing guidelines, ActivMed now offers telehealth memory screens. These brief cognitive assessments can provide insight into one’s cognitive abilities. Although no diagnosis is provided, it can be a tool used for early intervention in the event results warrant it. No insurance is required, and all information is kept confidential.

 

Since 1994, ActivMed Practices & Research, Inc. has conducted studies in the areas of Neurology, Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Dermatology, Gastroenterology, Pain, Nutraceuticals, Vaccines, Medical Devices, and more. ActivMed is also Virtual Trial Capable. Click on the links to learn more about the currently enrolling studies for Alzheimer’s at the Lawrence and Methuen locations.

References:

https://www.alz.org/abam/overview.asp

https://www.seniorlifestyle.com/resources/blog/alzheimers-brain-awareness-month/

http://act.alz.org/site/MessageViewer?em_id=156121.0

 

May 22, 2020

Jon Younger with Assisted Living Locators interviews ActivMed’s Outreach & Events Manager, Laura Rocha. Watch as they discuss Free Memory Screenings and clinical research.

 

Posted in Blog
May 20, 2020

 

Today we are celebrating Clinical Trials Day #CTD2020

Clinical Trials Day is celebrated around the world in May to recognize the day that James Lind started what is often considered the first randomized clinical trial aboard a ship on May 20, 1747. Read more about this innovative approach here.

At ActivMed, we work hard every day helping our community by bringing together researchers who want to explore new medications, treatments, devices, and more, with people who are also looking for better treatments and want to contribute to help future generations.

Thank you to all our wonderful staff, who contribute to moving public health forward!

May 19, 2020

If you have survived a stroke or heart attack, your chances of having another one are 1 in 4. The good news is, up to 80% can be prevented through managing chronic conditions, and lifestyle modifications. May is American Stroke Month, and the 2020 initiative is “One is Enough” which focuses on preventing another stroke. Not all risk factors are within your control, but for the ones we can control, it is time to make changes, even in the midst of COVID-19.

Chronic Conditions and Stroke Risk

 

 

A stroke happens when a clot or rupture blocks blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the brain. This disruption in the flow of these vital nutrients results in the death of brain cells. Depending on the severity of the stroke, and where it occurs in the brain, the resulting damage can vary. Stroke sufferers can have paralysis, speech or language problems, memory loss, and changes in behavior.

Several risk factors increase your risk of stroke. Family history, age, and gender are factors that no one can change. However, managing chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes play a vital role in prevention and reoccurrence. Diabetes and heart disease impairs your body’s ability to effectively transport oxygen and the critical nutrients we mentioned earlier to your brain. By working with your doctor and following their plan to manage these conditions, you can reduce your risk of stroke. Eating a healthy diet, staying active at least 150 minutes a week, and living tobacco-free are some of the lifestyle recommendations the American Stroke Association suggests in addition to the management of chronic conditions.

Hidden Dangers of Stress and the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm, changing life as we knew it. In addition to fears of contracting the virus, many lost their jobs and businesses, creating a financial and emotional strain few have seen before. During these unprecedented times, stress levels have understandably risen. However, continued stress over long periods can increase your risk of developing certain heart diseases such as high blood pressure if not managed. High blood pressure is the number 1 controllable risk factor for stroke.

Know the Signs

The American Stroke Association uses the acronym “FAST” to help recognize the symptoms of a stroke to get immediate medical attention. It may mean the difference between recovery and disability, so knowing the signs is vital:

  • F (Face Drooping)- Does one side of the face droop, or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven or lopsided?
  • A (Arm Weakness)- Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S (Speech)- Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.
  • T (Time to call 9-1-1)- If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

 

ActivMed offers free health screenings for blood glucose, blood pressure, and more. To learn more, visit our website here.

During COVID-19, ActivMed Practices and Research is committed to ensuring the safety of our patients and staff. Click here for our latest COVID-19 facility updates.

References:

https://www.stroke.org/en/life-after-stroke/preventing-another-stroke

May 7, 2020

CBS Boston interviews ActivMed researcher, Dr. Demetrius Rizos.

Dr. Rizos and his wife, Susan, who is a nurse, have been working on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Dr. Rizos has been volunteering at North Central Bronx Hospital, and his wife is working in the ICU at Beverly Hospital. Dr. Rizos has been a researcher with ActivMed for several years, and Nurse Sue has also joined our team in 2019. Thank you Dr. and Nurse Rizos for your selfless love for others!

You can read the article here.

Posted in Blog
May 1, 2020

Just a few short months ago we rang in 2020. We all had different expectations for what the year was going to bring, but none of us could have ever imagined how the coronavirus outbreak would have changed life as we knew it. The altered daily routines, social isolation, overall uncertainty, and financial pressures can be overwhelming, especially for those already dealing with mental health issues. Learning some self-care strategies can help when it comes to coping with your mental health during this time. Let’s discuss.

Change can be stressful for anyone. Doing your best to maintain a routine in times like these can help you to stay in the right mindset. Perhaps you are now working from home on a daily basis instead of commuting to the office each day. Designate a work area, get up, shower and get dressed, and keep normal working hours. Doing your work in the same area where you binge-watch your favorite TV shows can be distracting and hard to separate work from home. Even if you’re working with minimal square footage, make sure your workspace and your relaxing space are separate.

Make sure to take care of yourself. It can be tempting to want to lay around and order Chinese take-out while you relax on the sofa all day. Instead, try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals. Exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep. Meditation has been shown to be helpful for a variety of conditions and can be done in the smallest of spaces – even if you’re confined to a studio apartment.

Don’t lose your outside connections. Social distancing doesn’t have to apply to the virtual world! Find the time each day to reach out to friends and family via phone, text, email, FaceTime, etc. There are several apps that allow you to meet up and “hang out” virtually with your friends and family members. You can even host events like book clubs this way or attend art classes or exercise classes.

Don’t be afraid to get help when you need it. When it comes to your mental health, it’s important to be upfront about how you’re doing. Expecting mental health issues to fade on their own can lead to a worsening of symptoms, so it’s key to ask for help when you have concerns. ActivMed offers depression screenings at no cost to you or your insurance. To learn more about requesting a screening appointment, visit https://activmedresearch.com/join-a-trial/free-medical-screening/. Research studies may also be an option. If you or someone you love is experiencing struggles with mental health, research studies may be an option. Participants may see a doctor or medical staff, have access to study drug, and may receive reimbursement for travel. Learn more about current and upcoming studies @ https://activmedresearch.com/join-a-trial/.

Posted in Blog
April 8, 2020

Now more than ever, we’ve been hearing a lot of chatter about vaccines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The time it takes to create a vaccine and how effective they are is something we are all interested in.

Here is some important information on vaccines and some things our team thinks you should know.

How do vaccines work?

To better understand how vaccines work, it’s important to know how our body fights off illnesses. When a virus or bacteria enters the body, it attacks and multiplies causing infection. In response, the body uses its tools (i.e. white blood cells, which are our immune fighting cells) to fight off the infection. It can take several days to a week for our body to fight off an infection, but once it does, the immune system remembers what it learned when it comes in contact with that virus or bacteria in the future.

Vaccines work by imitating a virus or bacteria without ever causing the illness. Our immune system responds the same way that it would if we were truly infected, creating the same antibodies that protect us in the future. 

How long does it take to produce and distribute a vaccine?

When it comes to production of a vaccine, we’ve heard some conflicting timelines in the news lately. Typically, when new therapies are developed for any illness, it can take many years for an approval to be received and distributed to the public on a mass scale. This is due to the time it takes to go through all 3 phases of research to ensure the therapy is safe and effective.

Some vaccine trials can happen more quickly with an FDA fast-track status.

Read more about the vaccine approval process here.

How effective are vaccines?

Vaccines are highly effective and safe for the general public. Take measles for example; vaccines were responsible for eliminating the disease back in 2000. As more and more people stopped vaccinating against measles, it made a comeback in 2019 causing over 1000 cases of measles in the US.

The polio vaccine is also another great example. The first vaccine was given in 1955 and by 1979 polio was eradicated from the US, while in other countries, it continues to be a concern.

Vaccines have undoubtedly saved lives and our team is dedicated to helping advance vaccine research, contributing to success stories like measles and polio.

How do I get involved? 

ActivMed Practices & Research, Inc. conducts clinical trials in a multitude of therapeutic areas. To learn more about how you can participate in our enrolling studies or future studies for COVID-19 or other vaccines, please choose the location you prefer.

Methuen, MA

Portsmouth, NH

Beverly, MA

Lawrence, MA

Participants may see a doctor or medical staff, have access to study vaccines or study drug, and may receive reimbursement for travel.

Get involved today and make a difference for generations to come.

Posted in Blog
April 1, 2020

The skin is a barrier that protects, warms, and cools our bodies. When there is an issue with the skin like psoriasis, those functions are compromised, leading to overwhelming physical and emotional effects. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, an estimated 20,000 American children under the age of 10 are diagnosed with psoriasis each year. Understanding when those itchy red spots need to be examined by a doctor starts with recognizing some of the common symptoms.

Symptoms

Psoriasis modifies the skin renewal process. Usually, the skin cells will mature and die then shed while new skin cells are made underneath, which takes around three to four weeks. Psoriasis causes the immune system to be activated mistakenly, speeding up the life cycle of the skin cells to three to four days. Rather than falling off, the dead cells build up on the surface of the skin, forming thick, red, scaly patches.

The most common form of psoriasis in children is plaque psoriasis. The patches vary in size, number, and can appear anywhere on the body, but typically occur on areas like the knees, elbows, and scalp. They can also be very itchy and sometimes burn. Dermatologists specialize in skin disorders and are the best option for accurate diagnosis and treatment since there is no specific diagnostic test or tool. The dermatologist will examine the affected areas and may take a sample of it to view under the microscope.

Treatments

Psoriasis treatment depends on the severity, type, and area of skin affected. Untreated psoriasis can lead to plaques that continue to build and spread. Minimizing the scaling, itching, discomfort, and inflammation is the goal of available therapies. Topical treatments such as creams, or shampoos, UV phototherapy, oral medications, and injected biologics are some of the choices.

Finding the best way to manage your child’s psoriasis that has the best effect may take some time or require a combination of available treatments. In most cases, many children can achieve symptom relief with the right medication.

In children where effective psoriasis treatment remains out of reach, clinical research is the key. In order to discover how to prevent, improve treatment of, and eventually cure psoriasis, more work needs to be done through clinical research studies. Volunteers participating in clinical trials are the only way these advances become possible.

To learn more about currently enrolling pediatric psoriasis studies at ActivMed click HERE.

 

Posted in Blog
March 30, 2020

Posted in Blog
March 23, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATES

ActivMed Practices and Research is committed to ensuring the safety of our patients and team. During this time, we are taking additional precaution listed below. If you have any questions, please reach out to the appropriate office.

For Patients:

We are still open for visits; a member of our team will contact you prior to ask about recent illness and travel. As soon as you arrive, your temperature will be taken. If you have a fever, you will be asked to go home and come back once your symptoms have resolved. Per state guidelines, we are asking patients to wear masks when visiting our site. If you do not have a mask, we will provide one to you.

Please reschedule your visit if you

 

For Sponsors:

All on-site visits have resumed. We are following social distancing guidelines and are staggering monitors and visitors. We are still accommodating remote monitoring, site selection visits, closeout visits, etc. Please reach out to us to arrange your visit.

Posted in Blog
March 17, 2020

In 2009-2010 ActivMed Practices & Research participated in clinical research trials for development of vaccines and research for the Swine Flu epidemic.  The new vaccines were successful in slowing and stopping the epidemic.  We are hopeful the same can happen with the current epidemic.

 

Our staff and offices are patiently standing by and awaiting the development and implementation of coronavirus vaccine trials, that could help prevent and stop the spread of this disease.  We will be keeping you updated as we find out more about when these trials will be coming to our local area.

For now stay safe and follow the CDC recommendations.

 

Terry L. Stubbs MA,CCRC,AS,CRQM

President and CEO

Posted in Blog
March 16, 2020

Glucose or sugar is an essential source of fuel for your body. Type 2 diabetes affects the way your body metabolizes glucose. It used to be known as adult-onset diabetes. However, in recent years, the number of children diagnosed has risen with childhood obesity rates. As with other chronic conditions, diabetes must be managed appropriately to avoid irreversible issues later in life.

What Causes Diabetes?

Just as glucose is an important source of fuel, insulin is a hormone that helps regulate the movement of sugar into your cells. Insulin is produced in the pancreas gland. In type 2 diabetes, your body is resistant to insulin, or cannot produce enough insulin. Without insulin, too much glucose stays in your blood. If too much is in your blood, it begins to stick to the blood vessels and will eventually impede blood flow.

Many of the complications from diabetes take a while to develop. Heart disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, and eye damage are a few of the conditions diabetics are at risk for. Symptoms include frequent urination, increased thirst and hunger, fatigue, and blurred vision. Being overweight, genetics, and other environmental factors are possible causes.

What Increases Your Risk?

Some individuals will have a predisposition to developing diabetes due to family history or race. Other causes that raise your risks of developing diabetes are:

  • Weight– You do not have to be overweight to develop diabetes but being overweight is a leading risk factor.
  • PCOS– Insulin resistance is a cause of PCOS, so those diagnosed often develop diabetes if not managed.
  • Inactivity– Physical activity helps manage your weight and uses up the glucose as energy allowing your body to use the insulin properly.
  • Gestational Diabetes– Raises your chances of developing diabetes later down the road.

Life with Diabetes

Managing your diabetes involves monitoring your blood sugar levels, eating a diabetic-friendly diet, and keeping active. Individuals may be able to manage their diabetes through diet and exercise, but medications and insulin therapies are available if further intervention is needed.

Diabetes research continues to transform the way this condition is managed for the 1.5 million Americans diagnosed each year. The possibilities for less invasive and more cost-effective options are on the horizon. To learn more about how you can get involved in the diabetes research studies ActivMed is currently conducting at our Methuen, MA location, call (978) 655-7155, or visit us here.

References:

https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/type-2

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351199

https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/Diabetes-and-Your-Eyes-Heart-Nerves-Feet-and-Kidneys

March 6, 2020

ActivMed participated in the 2019 Citizen Scientist Awards program to honor those who have made the valiant effort to participate in clinical research for Alzheimer’s.

The Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation (GAP) created a first-of-its-kind award to celebrate Alzheimer’s disease clinical trial participants. The only way to find treatments and cures for Alzheimer’s is through clinical trials and these volunteers make that research possible. Each participating site submitted nominees for a national award. Here are the national winners.

Citizen Scientist Award Honoree Rochelle Long (OH) received the Cornerstone Award. Watch her inspirational story here!

Citizen Scientist Honoree Barbara Silva received the Catalyst Award.

Our site will be nominating folks again this year, so stay tuned for our 2020 nominees!

To find out more, please contact csa@globalalzplatform.org

 

Posted in Blog
March 1, 2020

Your brain, like your body, goes through change as it ages. As a result, we may not remember things as well as we did before. It may take longer to learn something new and losing things may happen more often. Forgetfulness that goes beyond the occasionally lost keys and inability to remember a name may be a cause for concern. Although some people experience memory issues as a result of treatable conditions, Alzheimer’s-related memory loss gradually gets worse over time. Memory screenings serve as a baseline to evaluate our current memory and how it changes over time. They are also a good way to see what is typical as we age, and what is not.

Why Should I Get a Memory Screen?

It is recommended if you are 65 or older to have your memory assessed yearly; however, if your memory issues concern you at all, talk with your doctor. They can help rule out any treatable conditions or determine if further evaluation is needed for something more serious.

Alzheimer’s symptoms typically begin before people notice since mild to moderate memory issues are typical with aging. Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other forms of mild cognitive impairment helps you educate yourself and your family about the disease, allowing you to begin treatments to manage symptoms.

The National Institute on Aging lists the following as some of the signs of a more serious memory issue:

  • Making poor judgments and decisions a lot of the time
  • Problems taking care of monthly bills
  • Trouble having a conversation
  • Losing track of the date or time of year
  • Misplacing things often and being unable to find them

Free Memory Screening

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is now recommending that everyone get a baseline memory screening, then a yearly follow up memory exam to look for cognitive changes.

ActivMed offers free memory screenings at their Lawrence, Methuen, and Lowell offices for anyone over the age of 50. The memory exam will determine a generalized score from the cognitive assessment—the score aids in identifying if the cognitive decline is reasonable, mild, or moderate. The results are reviewed and signed by a physician, and copies can be given to you or sent to your doctor to evaluate. You can fill out our free memory screen request form here.

 

References:

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/noticing-memory-problems-what-do-next

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/in-depth/memory-loss/art-20046326

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1123445/

2 February 14, 2020

We had a great turnout for our 2nd training event for Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care on February 7th.

Several members of our staff and those in the community took the path to become a Certified Dementia Practitioner with Tammy Pozerycki. This one-day seminar allows the attendees of the training to earn 8 hours of continuing education and/or apply to the NCCDP for their Certified Dementia Practitioner certificate.

ActivMed has partnered with Tammy from Alternatives in Alzheimer’s Care to host these events in our Methuen Learning Center. This was the second CDP training event, and two more are planned for May and October of this year. Visit our Event Calendar for these and other local events. 

For more information about Tammy Pozerycki and her training seminars email tammy@altalz.com or 508-861-6709

or visit www.alternativesinalzheimerscare.com

February 11, 2020

Being heart healthy and knowledgeable is so important for your overall well being. Knowing the steps to take to achieve a healthier life style can truly make an impact on someone’s daily life. There is a misconception that heart failure means that the heart completely stops. Heart Failure means that the heart does not pump blood and oxygen throughout the body the way it should. This condition affects affects about 5.7 million people in the U.S. but there is hope.

Heart Healthy Foods 

There are several foods you can eat more of tips for maintaining a healthier heart. Berries, acai and tomatoes are some of the many heart healthy foods to include in your diet. Learn more here.

Exercise 

Think its too late to exercise, especially if you are not used to the routine? Think again! According to the Harvard Heart letter, “even short forms of structured exercise may improve your heart health.” Starting out with walking at least 10 minutes a day can really make a difference, especially if you are new to the routine. Click here to learn more about exercising techniques.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking forward 

There is a lot you can do to maintain a healthy heart. If you are struggling, don’t give up hope. If you would like to know more about how you can check up on the overall status of your health at no cost, learn more about our free screenings here. Our free screenings include checking for blood glucose, depression, memory loss, blood pressure, and pulmonary function. Learn more today!  And remember to schedule regular check-ups with your doctor. If you want to make your doctor happy, keep good records of your vitals or lab numbers, and bring them to your appointments.

 

2 January 16, 2020

Seasonal Depression 

It’s very common to feel sad during this winter season. Millions of Americans suffer from some form of depression every year. That being said, you are not alone. There are many resources to help including free screenings, therapy, support groups, exercising, and many more. However, admitting that you want help is the first step to living a happier and healthier life.

Statistics 

Most Common Signs And Symptoms of Depression 

  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, or back pain
  • Recurrent thoughts of suicide
  • Difficulty sleeping, sleep disturbances, and/or having a hard time getting out of bed
  • Difficulty thinking clearly, making decisions, or concentrating
  • Feeling of isolation or wanting to be isolated for long periods of time

 

Possible Treatment Options 

  • Sign up for a clinical trial and/or free screenings for depression
  • Therapy – speaking with a psychologist
  • Medication
  • Exercise (physical and mental), Yoga, Meditation
  • Keeping a journal (writing down your thoughts instead of bottling them up)
  • Write short and long-term goals for yourself
  • Calling a depression hotline if you don’t feel comfortable talking to a therapist
  • Seeking support groups, or talking to someone you feel close to

 

Clinical Research May Be An Option!

As mentioned, participating in a clinical trial is available as a treatment option. The benefits of volunteering for a study include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Helping future and current generations
  • You or your loved one may have access to new treatments, not available to the public
  • Data collected from the results is used to determine whether a new medication or therapy is safe and effective.

ActivMed Practices & Research Inc. is passionate about helping those with depression by conducting clinical trials. If you or someone you know is diagnosed with depression or is not sure whether they have depression learn about these study opportunities and see if you qualify. Click HERE.

 

Looking Forward

Recovery is a slow process, but these treatment options can be very helpful. However, it is not a race, and you shouldn’t put too much pressure on yourself to get better right away. Depression affects people of all ages, races, ethnicity, and backgrounds. Depression can be deceiving in the sense that the people who appear to be “fine” are actually the people who are struggling with it the most. It is also good to help others who suffer from depression as well. Together we can be healthier.

 

January 13, 2020

We are excited to announce another donation yet again! We donated $1,500 to Pease N Carrots, an organization that holds annual food drives for those in need. We have been supporting them for 4 years now, and we are very grateful to be able to lend a helping hand!

 

January 10, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ever wondered what a medical screening is and how it could benefit you? Health screenings are tests that look for diseases before you have symptoms. Screening tests can find diseases early, when they’re easier to treat. You can get some screenings in your doctor’s office. Others need special equipment, so you may need to go to a different office or clinic.

Some conditions that are commonly screened for include:

ActivMed Practices & Research Inc provides health screenings at no cost to you.

At ActivMed Practices & Research Inc., we offer free medical screenings for Depression, Blood Pressure, Blood Glucose, Memory, and Lungs. Which tests you need depends on your age, your sex, your family history, and whether you have risk factors for certain diseases. After a screening test, ask when you will get the results and whom to talk to about them. Visit our free screenings here.

Memory Screening

Curious as to what to expect from a memory screening? A memory screening can help detect if an additional check-up is needed by a qualified healthcare professional. Interested in learning more? The following article provides more information on memory screenings.

**UPDATE**

We are now able to offer a no contact Telehealth Memory Screening- All information is confidential, following all HIPAA guidelines.

Call us at 978-655-7155 to learn more or request a call online here.

January 8, 2020

We are excited to announce our collaboration with NENA – New England Neurological Associates. We are  currently enrolling studies in Lawrence, MA for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease. To visit our enrolling studies page, click here. For more information, contact Deepa at 978-992-4212.

ActivMed announces collaboration with NENA

Posted in Blog
January 8, 2020

We are excited to announce our $4,000 donation to Emmaus, a local homeless charity in Haverhill, MA. Since 1985, Emmaus has helped over 35,000 children, women, and men out of homelessness and toward permanent housing, jobs, and self-sufficiency. For more information on how you can donate, click here https://lnkd.in/ewHhMkx

 

Posted in Blog
December 30, 2019

Health Happenings- Dementia Friendly Methuen

Laura Rocha joins Health Happenings on Methuen TV to discuss Age/Dementia Friendly initiative in Methuen

Local TV show features our Age/Dementia Friendly Methuen initiative

Our Outreach Manager, Laura Rocha recently appeared on the local television show “Health Happenings” for Methuen TV, on a panel discussing our Age/Dementia Friendly Methuen project we have been working on with Methuen Mayor, Jim Jajuga. We will miss him, and look forward to continuing the initiatives with the Mayor-elect Neil Perry.

Watch the discussion here http://archive.methuentv.org/Video/5398

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, a dementiafriendly community is a city, town or village where people with dementia are understood, respected and supported. In a dementiafriendly community people will be aware of and understand dementia, so that people with dementia can continue to live in the way they want to and in the community they choose.

We have partnered with other key community partners to make this initiative work for the city:

Here’s what we have accomplished so far:

Spring 2019- ActivMed met with Mayor Jim Jajuga to present the idea and address the needs of the community

Summer 2019- Mayor Jajuga and several city officials came to ActivMed to receive Dementia Training from the Alzheimer’s Association

Fall 2019- Focus Group to share ideas and to get feedback directly from the citizens of Methuen

Coming soon in 2020- Training of First Responders!

There is still plenty of work to be done, so stay tuned for more updates!

 

 

December 29, 2019

 ActivMed’s growth in 2019 has been extraordinary!

2019 is approaching its’ end, and what better way to end it then to recap what has happened at ActivMed Practices & Research, Inc. This year ActivMed turned 25 and what a year of growth it has been! We have accomplished so much and we could not have done it without you!!

This year we are proud to announce the beginning of a new sister company called Allcutis Research!

New sister company logo

Allcutis is the new sister company for ActivMed Practices & Research, focusing on dermatology studies.

Within this company we can conduct all our dermatology trials. Over the years we have conducted studies in a variety of indications and this company will allow us to zero in on the specific dermatology studies. Check out the new website for more specialized info regarding our dermatology side of the business. www.AllcutisResearch.com 

Aside from doing the business of conducting research to help our patients and future generations, we are passionate about being involved in the community! Throughout the year we participated in local charities to benefit needy children, community health fairs and events, like presentations from our CEO, and training for healthcare workers, that help raise awareness of clinical research.

Shades of Hope 2019 – Impact Melanoma:  As sponsors of Impact Melanoma, we were thrilled to spend the evening with others and welcome Dr. Jerome Adams (featured on the left) and his wife Lacy Adams (featured on the right), a melanoma survivor.

 

Walk to End Alzheimer’s- Each year we sponsor and participate in two local Walks to End Alzheimer’s. We want to raise awareness that you can do more than just “walk” to further research, you can volunteer! For those that come out to support their loved ones, we also offer information about getting an annual Memory Screening.

Toy Drive – happens annually around December, and newly unwrapped gifts are collected for the children of the Boys and Girls Club in need.

 

 

 

Clothing Drive (Catie’s Closet)- Each year we take donations for this local charity that helps students start the school year with new clothes.

 

 

 

Honorable Mentions 

We have partnered to host a National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners’ Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care seminar.

  • Our first training was held November 16th, 2019.
    • Three of our employees, Karina, Laura, and Jennifer attended the training and are now eligible to receive certification.
  • Save the Date in order to take the path to becoming a Certified Dementia Practitioner
    • Our next training is happening on February 7th, 2020!
    • Attend and receive your Certificate of Attendance, which is the requirement in order to apply to National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners’ to receive your credentials as a Certified Dementia Practitioners.

  • Citizens Scientists Awards Ceremony – An afternoon tea was held to recognize our Citizen Scientist Award nominees on June 20, 2019. This is a Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation initiative that we are proud to be a part of. More awareness of clinical trials is needed, and what better way than to celebrate those who are willing to participate?!

Global Alzheimer's Platform Foundation GAP

Recipients with our study coordinators Deepa (far left), and Alfa (far right) 

Studies and Free Health Screenings 

We continue to be a sought- after site for many pharmaceutical companies, both locally and on a global level, for a variety of indications. Some of the studies we enrolled and continue to enroll in our Methuen, MA office include Diabetes, Depression, and Memory. Our Portsmouth and Beverly offices focus on dermatology studies like psoriasis and eczema. For a complete list of our studies, visit, https://activmedresearch.com/join-a-trial/ Participation is free of charge is you qualify.

We also offer Free health screenings to the community to help encourage people to be pro-active about their health! Our screenings are simple assessments that include Depression, Memory, Blood Pressure, Blood Glucose, and Lung Function. Click here to sign up for your appointment today!

The future is bright for 2020 and we have many more growth projects on the horizon!!

 

 

 

Posted in Blog | Tags: , ,
December 15, 2019

Why participate in clinical research?

We interviewed a research volunteer to hear what he had to say about participating in a clinical research study.

Interview with a Research Participant

In clinical research, there is still a need to increase awareness of clinical trials being conducted locally. We offer people the ability to participate in research without having to go to Boston or big hospitals. So we wanted to interview a research participant in one of our studies to give a first-hand account of what being a participant looks like. We sat down with Mr. M to see what he has to say about being in a study here at ActivMed.

1. Why did you choose to participate?

 “A number of reasons. Number 1: What I go through helps everyone. Number 2: Money. My wife and I live on a fixed income and the money I receive from participating does help. Number #3: I’m doing it for myself as well. I’m focusing on having good health, which always helps me to continue doing what I love. 

2. What did you expect research would be like?

“I was hoping it would show me improvement on what I have. I was hoping it would help. The research staff were what I expected, and friendly. 

3. How did you feel emotionally by participating?

“Felt comfortable. These are professional people and it gave me the confidence to trust that they knew what they were doing.”

4. Is there anything that surprised you?

“I came to the study with an open mind.”

5. If you could share something with someone participating in a study for the first time, what would it be?

“If you have the problems I have, do it! I could have or could have not been given a placebo. What matters is that the information collected will help somebody else.” 

We are so thankful that Mr. M allowed us to ask him some questions about his participation. *Due to privacy requirements, we cannot share his full name.

Participating in a clinical research study is a personal choice!

If you have questions and aren’t sure who to ask, check out our FAQ section here to learn more. Your PCP is a great resource to see if a clinical research study is a good fit for you based on your medical history.

If you would like to know more, you can always call us and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have!

Methuen, MA  978-655-7155

Beverly, MA 978-969-6897

Portsmouth, NH 603-319-8863

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 26, 2019

It was an honor to have attended Shades of Hope 2019 to celebrate Impact Melanoma’s 20th Anniversary!! it was an amazing party and we were thrilled to welcome U.S. Surgeon General VADM Jerome Adams, MD and his wife and melanoma survivor Lacey Adams!

Posted in Events
November 25, 2019

Click here to learn more about our enrolling research study for Alzheimer’s!

 

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