Category: Blog

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

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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.

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Posted in Blog, Uncategorized
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

 

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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.

###

 

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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

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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

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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.

 

 

 

 

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

 

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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.

 

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Posted in Blog
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.

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