Category: Blog

September 14, 2021

Having atopic dermatitis (AD) causes your skin to become very sensitive. Most of the time, that heightened level of sensitivity influences the clothing you wear, as well as the laundry detergents, soaps, and cleaners you use. However, the good news is that you can still be fashionable without triggering an AD flare-up.

What is Atopic Dermatitis?

Atopic dermatitis, commonly known as eczema, is a chronic condition that leaves your skin looking red and feeling itchy. Since it is chronic, symptoms may worsen at different times and cause flare-ups. There are many factors that trigger flare-ups including clothing, lotions, and soaps.

Natural Fibers Are Your Best Friend

Choosing clothing made from natural fibers, such as cotton, bamboo, or silk, can help ease the sensitivity of AD. For example, it is good to wear clothing that is composed of 100% cotton. Cotton is being breathable and cool. Bamboo and silk are also considered to be quite soft, breathable, and effective. These fabrics are good at regulating the temperature of the body. Silk can be worn under clothing as a barrier to protect the skin from tighter fitting clothing.

Hypoallergenic Jewelry is a Must

Many people who suffer from atopic dermatitis have an allergy to nickel, so avoiding jewelry made of nickel is crucial. Choose jewelry that is hypoallergenic, such as ones that contain:

  • Stainless steel
  • At least 18-karat gold
  • Sterling silver
  • Polycarbonate plastic

These materials are less likely to cause flare-ups from increased skin irritation.

Managing Atopic Dermatitis Flare-Ups

You can still be comfortable and fashionable while living with AD. A simple search on the internet can help you find clothing and accessories that are easy on the skin. To minimize the frequency of AD flare-ups, it is best to identify and reduce your exposure to the various factors that trigger them. In fact, this step is vital in effectively managing the condition.

Like any chronic condition, learning everything you can about AD is integral to your overall health. Clinical studies are a great way to learn more about your condition from healthcare experts with specialized training in AD. As a result, participating in studies provides patients with the tools necessary to improve their self-care and the management of their AD.

Interested in learning about our enrolling AD clinical research studies? Click here and explore our Portsmouth, NH studies.

Sources:

https://atopicdermatitis.net/living/wear-best-clothing-fabric

https://eczema.org/information-and-advice/triggers-for-eczema/clothing-and-eczema/

https://dermnetnz.org/topics/jewellery-allergy/

August 30, 2021
RSV season is right around the corner

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is so common that most children get it before the age of two years. Healthy people usually experience mild, cold-like symptoms and recover within a week or two. However, the RSV virus can have serious effects on older adults, as well. In the U.S. specifically, RSV has caused an estimated 177,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths in people aged 65 and older every year.

Here’s what you need to know to have a better understanding of the virus.

What is RSV?

RSV is a virus that causes respiratory illness which covers the nose, throat, and lungs. It typically mimics a mild cold leading to symptoms, such as:

  • Runny nose or congestion
  • Dry cough
  • Low-grade fever
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Headache

In severe cases, the infection can spread to the lower respiratory tract, causing inflammation of the small airway passages entering the lungs. Examples of severe infection symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Severe, persistent cough
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bluish color of the skin due to lack of oxygen

Causes and Risk Factors

RSV symptoms usually begin within 4 to 6 days after exposure, and infected individuals are generally contagious for 3 to 8 days. The virus can be transmitted in several ways. For example, it can be spread through the respiratory droplets of an infected person, touching contaminated surfaces with the virus on them, or direct contact, like kissing the face of anyone with RSV.

While people of any age can get RSV, those at the highest risk for severe disease include:

  • Premature infants
  • Young children with heart or lung diseases
  • Adults and young children with compromised immune systems
  • Older adults, particularly those with pre-existing heart or lung disease

Prevention and Treatment

To prevent the spread of RSV, experts recommend engaging in health-protective behaviors. These behaviors include proper handwashing, avoiding close contact with others, covering coughs and sneezes, and not sharing personal items. Frequently cleaning toys and surfaces is essential, too.

Most RSV infections resolve on their own in a week or two, and for those who have contracted RSV, there are treatment options available. These options consist of self-care measures to make patients more comfortable, as well as over-the-counter therapies that help clear congestion, reduce fever, and keep people hydrated. However, if severe symptoms persist, you may need hospital care.

RSV can negatively impact older adults

Fortunately, researchers are working to develop vaccines and treatments to help fight RSV, as potential new options are currently being evaluated in clinical research studies. If you’re an adult over the age of 60 and are interested in learning about how you can get involved with upcoming RSV studies here at ActivMed Practices & Research, please call us today at (978) 969-6897!

Sources:

https://www.nfid.org/infectious-diseases/rsv/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/respiratory-syncytial-virus/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353104

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/chest-lungs/Pages/RSV-When-Its-More-Than-Just-a-Cold.aspx

August 20, 2021
health never goes out of style

With so many individuals living long, active lives, the senior citizens in our communities show us that taking care of your health never goes out of style. Senior Citizens Day is a chance to understand the contributions and dedication of seniors. It’s an annual celebration on August 21st to honor the seniors in our families and communities and bring awareness to the issues they commonly face.

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s 

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are two conditions prevalent in people over the age of 60. Below is a summary of each and frequency they affect senior populations.

Simple tasks becoming not so simple?

  • Summary:
    • Alzheimer’s– Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurologic disorder that causes the brain to shrink and brain cells to die. It destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out daily activities.
    • Parkinson’s– Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common degenerative neurological disorder after Alzheimer’s disease. It causes the brain cells that produce dopamine (coordinates movement) to stop working or die. This leads to difficulties with movement and other non-motor symptoms.
  • Prevalence:
    • Alzheimer’s– an estimated 6.2 million Americans aged 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s in 2021. 72% are age 75 or older.
    • Parkinson’s– It is estimated that PD affects 1 percent of the population over 60. Overall, as many as 1 million Americans are living with PD, and approximately 60,000 Americans receive a diagnosis of PD each year.

National Senior Citizens Day

Although some people think being a senior means retirement, the truth is that many adults remain active well into their advanced years. This holiday is the perfect time for people to let the senior citizens in their families and communities show their appreciation. Write a letter, send a card or volunteer at a retirement home. Spread awareness via social media using the hashtag #NationalSeniorCitizensDay.

Both PD and Alzheimer’s are progressive neurodegenerative diseases. Over time, they can rob seniors of their independence and quality of life. In turn, our lives are deprived of their well-earned wisdom and advice, and their support and guidance we navigate the many different aspects of life. Clinical research has led to many important discoveries that help improve how we detect, manage, and eventually cure these conditions.

Potential new options are currently being evaluated in research studies for PD and Alzheimer’s. Research studies partner with volunteers to make sure these new options are safe and effective. Becoming a research volunteer is a great way for seniors to give back to advancing medicine and future generations of seniors. ActivMed Practices & Research has several opportunities for seniors. We are currently seeking individuals to join enrolling PD and Alzheimer’s studies and for other future opportunities for other indications like shingles.

Memories matter

We also offer FREE memory screenings for adults at risk of Alzheimer’s or who are experiencing memory issues. Call us at (978) 992-4239 to schedule your memory screen and learn more about our enrolling Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s studies at our Lawrence, MA location. Or, feel free to visit our website.

Sources:

https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/magazine-world-senior-citizen-day-history-significance-and-how-to-celebrate-with-grandparents/

https://www.michaeljfox.org/parkinsons-101

August 10, 2021
Protection is important. Learn more about vaccine trials in our blog

With back to school in full force, it’s fitting August is also National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). The annual event highlights the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. Immunization is the single most crucial health measure you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Vaccine Importance

Vaccines are much like a manual for your body that shows how to recognize and defeat a harmful disease. Scientists and researchers take weakened or dead parts of a virus in the vaccination. This exposes your body to an illness so it can create antibodies for it—all without the risk of complications from a live version.

Vaccines save lives

Over 20 widely used vaccines are available today for severe illnesses like measles, meningitis, pneumonia, smallpox, and polio. Many of these diseases once ran rampant, leaving trails of death, disability, or serious illness. For example, smallpox has killed an estimated 300 million people since 1900. Thanks to widespread immunization efforts that eradicated it in 1977.

Though eradicated, the germs that cause smallpox and other viruses we vaccinate against continue to circulate in parts of the world. Now more than ever, the ease at which illnesses can travel to other parts of the world means we are all at risk. The World Health Organization estimates vaccines save over 4 million children alone every year.

National Immunization Awareness Month

NIAM is the perfect time to get with your health provider. They can ensure you and your loved ones are current on your vaccines and answer any questions you may have. The CDC has an interactive guide and other immunization tools to see recommendations by age group. You can also spread the word to others by using the hashtag #NationalImmunizationAwarenessMonth in social media correspondence.

Participating in clinical research studies may also be an option for those interested in getting vaccinated. ActivMed Practices & Research has current opportunities to get involved in now, and more are starting soon. At the moment, we are enrolling participants for meningitis vaccine studies at our Beverly, MA and Methuen, MA locations.

Protection: Don't Go Anywhere without it

Our COVID-19 vaccine booster studies that include either the flu or shingles immunization will begin enrolling shortly. We also have an RSV vaccine study starting soon too! To add your name to our list to call for additional information, click here to select your location for contact information or fill out the “future studies” form to submit your information electronically.

Sources:

https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/vaccines-and-immunization-what-is-vaccination

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-immunization-awareness-month-august/

https://www.history.com/news/the-rise-and-fall-of-smallpox

July 26, 2021
How does the sun affect your skin conditions?

Summer typically means spending more time outside doing all the summer-y things most of us love. However, the increased exposure to sunlight and heated air can turn some skin conditions upside-down. Fortunately, you can take some simple steps to avoid flare-ups during the summer, which can quickly ruin your fun. Here are a few examples.

Hidradenitis Suppurativa and Summer

For Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS), it is clear that prolonged exposure to heat exacerbates symptoms. You can still enjoy the summer by taking a few precautions along the way, such as:

  • Wear lightweight clothing to keep you cool. Opt for fabrics with UV protection and that are made from lightweight materials like polyester that are moisture-wicking.
  • Drink enough water to keep hydrated throughout the day. Also, supplement with coconut water, homemade juices, and smoothies to change things up.
  • Avoid direct sun as much as possible. Use a portable mini fan to help in other cases.

Don't let HS cause you distress

Keep in mind it’s also important to be mindful of how your body always feels. Always be on the lookout for signs you may be getting overheated. Two of the most common heat-related illness are heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Some symptoms are dizziness, fatigue, headaches, nausea, confusion, fast pulse, and elevated body temperature.

Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema) and Summer

When UV therapy is a treatment for eczema-prone skin, you may wonder why summer isn’t always sweet for individuals who have it. Sweating is the number one enemy in the summer since it contains various things that can irritate broken skin, like that in eczema. Typically, it worsens in areas that trap moisture like the elbows, back of the neck, or the backs of the knees. Beat summer eczema flare-ups with these tips:

  • Avoid sweating by staying cool. Stick to the shade when outside, and drink plenty of water to keep your body temperature at an average level.
  • Choose a mineral sunscreen versus a chemical one. These should have the words “physical” or “mineral” on the bottle with ingredients in them like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
  • Rinse off after swimming and change out of wet clothes as soon as possible. If you can’t rinse off, keep a spray bottle with clean water and spray off your skin. Always bring a dry change of clothes to change into if you get sweaty or after swimming.

Stop hiding and start living with eczema

Beat the Summer Heat. Join a Dermatology Study Today!

Many of the tips above are great when managing most skin conditions this summer, along with keeping your skin moisturized. If you’re still looking for a way to give back this summer and beat the heat, consider one of our enrolling dermatology studies here at ActivMed Practices & Research. We have studies for psoriasis, eczema, hidradenitis suppurativa, facial acne, and more! To learn more, click to visit our Beverly, MA, and Portsmouth, NH locations for details today!

Sources:

https://www.everydayhealth.com/eczema/strategies-avoiding-eczema-flare-ups-summer/

https://hsdisease.com/living/beat-heat

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

July 6, 2021
Ever wondered the affect chocolate has on migraines

On July 7th, chocolate lovers around the globe will guiltlessly indulge in their favorite treat during World Chocolate Day. Though chocolate connoisseurs may argue the benefits of responsible consumption, its impact on migraines isn’t always clear. Is it a trigger or a warning of an impending attack? In truth, the relationship between chocolate and your migraine is as unique as you are.

To Eat, or Not to Eat

Migraines are often triggered by different environmental, physical, and emotional factors. Changes in routine, dehydration, and stress are the most common. Excessive consumption of caffeinated products can contribute to the onset of a migraine. All chocolate has some caffeine in it. So, if that is a trigger for your migraines, you may want to consider that.

Box of chocolates

On the other hand, many people reportedly crave sweet food such as chocolate before the pain of a migraine. This leads them to conclude that eating sweets are causing their migraines. However, sometimes those cravings are symptoms of the beginning of an attack. Identifying what’s triggering your migraines and recognizing common symptoms before an attack are both crucial in managing your condition better. Therefore, knowing how chocolate affects your migraines is one way to help!

World Chocolate Day

Since 2009, World Chocolate Day celebrates all kinds of goodies made from chocolate. It is also the anniversary of when chocolate was first brought over from Europe on July 7th, 1550. Since then, the dark treat has led to the creation of chocolate milk, hot chocolate, chocolate candy bars, chocolate cake, brownies, and many other favorites. You can join in the chocolate-themed celebration by enjoying your favorite dessert, reading a related book, or learn more about chocolates around the world. Whatever you do, share it on social media using the hashtag #WorldChocolateDay!

Although the effects of chocolate are unique to each person with migraines, a surer way to help migraine symptoms is through clinical research studies. By participating in migraine research studies, you play a personal role in advancing options for current and future generations. You also learn more about your condition and may gain access to potential new opportunities not yet available to the public.

Migraines are also common in children, which drives the need for designing age-appropriate therapies for safer, more effective outcomes. ActivMed Practices & Research is currently enrolling migraine studies for children aged 6-17 at our Lawrence, MA location. To learn more, call (978) 992-4239 or visit our website.

Sources:

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/world-chocolate-day/

https://www.migrainetrust.org/about-migraine/trigger-factors/common-triggers/

 

 

June 28, 2021
OCD isn

Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is a chronic anxiety disorder that affects 1 in 40 Americans. Neatness and germaphobia are often what come to mind when people hear the term. In actuality, these are some of many rituals created to satisfy repeated, unwanted thoughts. OCD isn’t uniform and goes beyond a color-coded planner or organized pantry. It is so much more.

Obsession Categories and Associated Compulsions

OCD is a never-ending cycle of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are unwelcome thoughts or urges that repeatedly play out in patients’ minds, creating immense anxiety and stress. These typically warn of impending doom which triggers a patient’s compulsion to act out certain behaviors or rituals to dispel the thoughts or relieve stress. The relief is only short-term, and the thoughts return, and the cycle is repeated over and over-consuming an hour, sometimes several each day.

Those with OCD know their thoughts and actions are not rational and wish they could be free of them but feel helpless to stop them. For instance, suppressing OCD behaviors end up worsening symptoms, so it’s not something you can stop on your own. There are several categories of obsessions and various associated compulsive behaviors. These generally include:

Common Obsessions:

  • Intrusive Thoughts
  • Unwanted Thoughts
  • Repetitive Thoughts
  • Racing Thoughts
  • Violent Thoughts
  • Sexual Thoughts
  • Religious Blasphemy Thoughts

Common compulsions:

  • Avoidance
  • Reassurance Seeking
  • Checking
  • Hand Washing
  • Excessive Prayer
  • Counting
  • Comparison Seeking
  • Excessive Guilt

Education, Healthy Living, and Treatment

OCD can severely impact one’s social, emotional, and work-related areas of life. However, with effective treatment, healthier lifestyle, and education, most experienced improved symptoms and quality of life.

New tools and ideas on how to better help people with OCD are being investigated in clinical research studies and providing hope to patients. Through patient collaboration, we continue to gain knowledge that improves the lives of current and future generations.

OCD is more than perfectionism

To learn more about enrolling OCD studies with ActivMed Practices & Research, contact our Methuen, MA office at (978) 655-7155 or visit our website.

Sources:

https://beyondocd.org/information-for-college-students/symptoms-of-ocd

https://iocdf.org/about-ocd/

June 18, 2021
Don

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection found throughout the United States and every continent except Antarctica. More than 475,000 Americans are diagnosed every year, but experts believe it is much higher. Lyme disease is treatable, but symptoms are often misdiagnosed as other conditions. Without treatment, the infection can progress into more severe symptoms. Guarding your family against Lyme disease involves a little surveillance and a good plan of defense.

The Best Offense is a Good Defense

Protecting your family from Lyme disease is a multi-faceted approach. To begin, you need to know how the infection occurs. Lyme disease is caused by a corkscrew-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi transmitted through the bite of an infected black-legged tick. Avoiding contact with this type of tick is the ultimate goal in a combination of the following measures:

  • Surveillance: Check recent surveillance maps of cases reported in your area to see where the infection rate is more widespread. Remember, these are only cases reported, so the map data can only go so far.
  • Avoiding Hot Spots: The ticks that can cause Lyme disease mainly live in wooded, bushy areas with long grass. Avoid walking in these areas.
  • Repellants, Clothing Care, and Self-Checks:
    • Repellants– Use one with a DEET concentration of 20% or higher. Apply products with permethrin to clothing or buy pretreated materials.
    • Clothing Care– When in tick hot spots, wear long-sleeved shirts, hats, and gloves. Removed clothing immediately once home and wash and dry on high heat.
    • Self-checks– Shower as soon as you get home with a washcloth to remove any unattached ticks. Check your body from head to toe. Underdeveloped ticks called nymphs are the primary transmitters and are about the size of a poppy seed, so look carefully.

It starts with a tick bite and can end with a chronic illness

Adopting these steps should reduce your chances of Lyme disease significantly. If you discover a tick has attached itself, it will be early and mostly means it didn’t have the 3-4 days it needs to transmit the infection. Even so, alert your provider immediately and keep a lookout for symptoms. You can find a checklist of common symptoms here.

Improving Detection 

There is currently no test determining whether a patient has an active infection or whether the infection has been eliminated by treatment. Available lab tests help identify antibodies to the bacteria, which your body takes a few weeks to make after an infection. This makes early diagnosis difficult with lab tests alone, so symptom history, tick prevalence in the area, and other factors are used to close the gap in diagnosis accuracy.

Potential new detection options are under evaluation in clinical research studies, and we need your help! ActivMed Practices & Research is currently seeking participants aged seven and older to join enrolling Lyme disease studies. Individuals currently experiencing Lyme disease symptoms have recently been diagnosed, and those with no prior history of Lyme Disease are welcome to apply.

Don't let Lyme disease ruin your summer

The studies are being conducted at our Methuen, MA, Beverly, MA, and Portsmouth, NH locations. Click here to select your preferred clinic location, view additional information, and application submission.

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lyme-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20374651

https://www.lymedisease.org/lyme-basics/lyme-disease/about-lyme/

https://www.aldf.com/

 

 

May 27, 2021

Binge eating disorder (BED) involves the repeated compulsion to eat large quantities of food. BED isn’t a lifestyle choice but rather a never-ending cycle you have no control over. It is one of the newest eating disorders the DSM-V recognizes, yet the most common in American. Extreme overeating is one of the many signs you might be binge eating. Let’s look into the others.

Urge, Compulsion, Shame, Repeat. 

Binge eating disorder involves recurrent episodes of eating large amounts of food followed by feelings of distress and shame afterward. The amount of food is beyond what anyone would want to eat and often consumed very quickly and to the point of discomfort. Those with BED are aware of their actions but have little control to stop them. They may fast between episodes but do not regularly use other countermeasures to get rid of food or calories by vomiting or excessive laxative use, for example. While it’s common for patients with BED to be overweight, not everyone is.

Binge eating disorder has psychological, behavioral, and physical symptoms that also include:

  • Feeling uncomfortable eating around others
  • Stomach problems, cramping
  • Eating even when already full or not hungry
  • Noticeable fluctuations in weight both up and down
  • Hoarding or stealing food and storing it in strange places
  • Frequently eating alone or in secret
  • Dieting often

Long-term physical effects of binge eating can be permanent, even fatal, if not treated in time. A few examples are obesity, heart disease, diabetes, esophagus and stomach damage, and sleep apnea.

Treating Binge Eating Disorder

Treatment for BED aims to reduce the frequency of episodes, manage thoughts related to bingeing, and improve mood. Weight loss and metabolic health[HW1]  are addressed as needed for patients at most risk (such as diabetes) but should not be the focus. Cognitive-behavioral therapies (CBT) are the basis of most approaches to BED. CBT is a form of talk therapy. It shows you how to deal with negative behavior patterns by breaking them down into smaller parts.

Vyvanse is the first FDA-approved medication to treat moderate to severe binge eating disorders in adults. Topamax, an anti-convulsant, and some antidepressants have also been shown to help control episodes and other symptoms. Additional options are currently under investigation in clinical research studies.

BED Symptoms Can Feel Uncontrollable. Take Charge Today!

Have you been diagnosed with BED and frustrated with current treatment options? ActivMed Practices & Research is now enrolling studies for individuals diagnosed with binge eating disorder that may help. Get involved today and help advance medicine for BED. Call us at (978) 655-7155, or visit our website for more information.

References:

https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/types/binge-eating-disorder

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/by-eating-disorder/bed

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/binge-eating-disorder/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353633

April 30, 2021
Raising the Bar, Raising Awareness for Parkinson

Parkinson’s disease (PD) occurs when the dopamine-producing cells in the brain stop working or die off. PD is progressive and can cause tremors, slowness, stiffness, and other non-motor symptoms. April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month. This year’s theme is #KnowMorePD, focusing on raising the bar and raising awareness for Parkinson’s, and improving the lives of individuals affected.

5 Facts You May Not Know About Parkinson’s:

  1. British surgeon Dr. James Parkinson discovered it in 1817
  2. Around 500,000 new cases are diagnosed each year
  3. Most patients are middle-aged and diagnosed, on average, around age 56
  4. Small handwriting is an early warning sign
  5. It has no cure, but there are several effective treatments available
Parkinson's can be puzzling

#KnowMorePD

Activities are underway as PD patients, loved ones, and caregivers share their stories, petition local governments, and join one of the many events taking place this month. The goal is to raise awareness about Parkinson’s disease and all the resources available to make patients’ lives better. You can get join the efforts by testing your knowledge of PD with a quiz. You can also learn more about it through any of the following resources:

  • Podcast – Every other Tuesday, a new episode of Substantial Matters: Life and Science of Parkinson’s airs. Episodes focus on topics relevant to your daily life, including new therapies, exercise, clinical trials, nutrition, and more!
  • Publications – The PD Library is an extensive collection of publications that can help you #KnowMorePD.
  • Social media – Follow along and engage with @ParkinsonDotOrg on your social media platform of choice for the newest information for PD.

Volunteers Can Help Change the Future of Parkinson’s

April is Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month

Research initiatives continue to expand treatment options to people with Parkinson’s and, ultimately, help them live better with this condition. Volunteering for research gives you the power to help researchers understand how PD progresses and accelerates medical breakthroughs. To learn more about enrolling Parkinson’s disease studies at ActivMed Practices & Research, call (978) 992-4239, or visit our website.

References:

https://www.parkinson.org/parkinsons-awareness-month

April 10, 2021
Beneath the surface of skin issues

Many different skin issues exist in the world today. Ranging in severity and various causes, some conditions affect the skin and other parts of the body. Individuals with skin issues often face unseen challenges that lurk beneath the surface. Therefore, managing the complicated nature of skin conditions sometimes requires a collaboration of healthcare providers. Together, they can address the physical, emotional, and social impacts and ensure the overall health of each patient.

Function and Appearance

The skin is a living organism and the body’s largest organ. The skin is also the protective barrier that covers our body and gives rise to our hair, nails, and sweat glands. Also, our sense of touch (hot, cold, and pressure) comes from the skin. Protecting virtually all of our organs, it functions in cooling us in the heat and keeping us warm when we get cold. Your skin is also the most visible of all our organs and is an essential player in viewing ourselves.

Psoriasis isn't just about what's on your skin

Dermatologists specialize in skin and the conditions that may affect it. A few of the most common skin issues are:

  • Acne
  • Atopic Dermatitis – Eczema
  • Hives
  • Sunburn
  • Rosacea

When the Mind and Skin Interact

Skin issues can have powerful effects on the mind, especially severe ones. Some skin conditions can also worsen in the presence of specific emotional states. In more advanced cases, treating the skin condition and addressing its emotional impacts may be necessary. Psychodermatology involves the interaction between the mind and the skin. There are three categories of psychodermatologic disorders:

  • Psychophysiological disorders
    • React to emotional states such as stress.
  • Primary psychiatric disorders
    • Psychiatric conditions that result in skin manifestations like trichotillomania.
  • Secondary psychiatric disorders
    • Associated with disfiguring skin conditions resulting in psychological problems such as low self-esteem, depression, and social phobia.

Options for Treating Skin Issues

Most skin disorders are treatable, are managed in varying ways. However, most conditions may reappear due to specific triggers, such as stress or illness. Lifestyle changes in addition to your doctor’s treatment plan may help reduce flare-ups. Common therapies include:

  • Topical– Medicated creams and ointments
  • Oral-Antibiotics and prescription medications
  • Injections– Biologics, steroid, or vitamin injections
Skin problems? We've got a trial for that

Clinical research is vital to adequately cover the complexities of the numerous disorders of the skin in existence. As we learn more about these conditions, improved ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent them can be designed. To learn more about the dermatology studies enrolling here at ActivMed Practices & Research, visit our Portsmouth, NH website, or Beverly, MA.

References:

https://www.drugs.com/slideshow/most-common-skin-conditions-1086

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2001/1201/p1873.html

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.

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:
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
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
1 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

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 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 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/

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 25, 2019

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

 

November 25, 2019

Participating in a pediatric research study

It is the responsibility of those conducting clinical research to ensure the safety and confidentiality of their participants. Participating in a study is not as intimidating as it may sound. If anything you might find that participating in a study is quite simple and less nerve-wracking than going for that annual check-up. Our children deserve the best care available, and if current treatment options to any conditions they are experiencing are not enough, then looking to clinical trials might be beneficial!

Some of the benefits of enrolling your child in a study include the following:

  • To obtain education about treatment/improving child’s health 
  • To advance medicine or science 
  • To help other kids with the condition 
  • To obtain free medication for your child  

What does participating in a study involve?

At ActivMed, participating in a research study is very similar to a regular doctor appointment. Our convenient locations allow you to participate in research without traveling to Boston or a hospital. When you choose to  participate in research you are under the care of a doctor, who will monitor your child’s health very closely through regularly scheduled visits, labs, questionnaires, and other methods.

All participation in a research study requires an informed consent to be carefully read and considered by the participant. This document outlines every detail of the study; all the visits and what medical labs, procedures, and medications are involved.

The future of our children and their health are what we consider to be a major priority. Why not help them participate in a study that is no cost to you or your insurance, and can potentially lead to treatments to conditions?

ActivMed Practices and Research Inc. is now enrolling studies for our pediatric psoriasis trials in Portsmouth, NH. Learn more here. For our pediatric eczema trial in Portsmouth, NH click here. To find out more about our Beverly, MA pediatric psoriasis trial click here. 🙂

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November 18, 2019

Having to deal with Type 2 Diabetes is not pleasant, especially during the holidays when you are surrounded by sweets and abundant amounts of food. Self-control is expected but it’s not as easy as it seems. Here are 5 tips to help you stay healthy while you celebrate. These tips are suggested by Steven Rothschild, MD. He is a family medicine doctor and the founder of Rush University Family Physicians. 

1. Lighten up holiday recipes

Reducing the amount of sugar and carbohydrates, like white flour, white rice and other processed grains, in your meal may be helpful. Trim the amount of fat in baking recipes. For instance, if a recipe suggests using oil, use half that amount and replace it with something else such as unsweetened apple sauce.

2. Let the plate be your guide when making choices

Keeping an eye out on the amount of food you eat is helpful because eating too much can affect your blood sugar levels. An interesting measurement to keep in mind for your lean meat portion is that it be about the size of a deck of cards. Carbohydrate servings , such as pasta or rice, should be equal to the size of a fist.

An easy strategy for portion control is to think of your plate being cut into four sections:

  • Lean protein — should take up one quarter of your plate
  • Carbohydrates (such as grains, pasta and some vegetables like potatoes and corn) — should occupy another quarter of your plate
  • Green vegetables and other non-starch vegetables (such as salads, broccoli, green beans, carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, etc.) — should take up the remaining half your plate. Just make sure not to cook those veggies in oil or butter, or drown them in heavy dressings, dips or sauces.

And make mindful choices when preparing your plate.

Pick your favorite high carbohydrate or high fat food and have a reasonable serving of that, but then cut back in other areas. For example, you could decide that you’d like to have a serving of sweet potatoes instead of a serving of bread or mashed potatoes. So you’re substituting one carbohydrate for another, not eating both.

3. Exercising

Going out for at least 30 minutes a day can be very beneficial. It can improve blood sugars, decrease the risk of heart disease, and help you lose weight. Although, realistically, it’s difficult to exercise 30 minutes a day especially if you aren’t used to the routine. If you start doing some at home exercises more frequently or joining a program, it might be easier to continue in the log run. If you find yourself tied up during the holidays to exercise, try doing a 15 minute workout or three 10-minute stints a few times per week.

4. Managing Stress

Experiencing stress during the holidays is normal, but can be managed with patience, relaxing activities such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises.

5. Try to quit smoking

If you are a frequent smoker, try to make your new years resolution to quit. While smoking is bad for everyone’s health, it is especially harmful for people with diabetes. Nicotine in cigarette smoke causes large and small blood vessels to harden and narrow, resulting in reduced blood flow to the rest of your body.

These tips aren’t just for diabetics — they’re good advice for anyone who’s trying to lead a healthier lifestyle and prevent serious health problems, including diabetes, down the road. It’s important to start taking steps now to keep yourself and your family healthy for life.

 

 

Posted in Blog
November 6, 2019

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that affects an individuals brain and disrupts their thinking skills and cognitive abilities. It affects over 5.5 million Americans today. Memory loss and confusion are among the main symptoms that people tend to notice right away. As the disease progresses, communication, language, decision making, movement problems, and behavioral problems may also be present.

Although the disease does have its complications, that doesn’t mean that those experiencing it have to stop living their day to day lives.

Here are some tips for living with Alzheimer’s:

1. Develop a daily routine and write down important dates! Make a daily plan to keep track of the few tasks you want to accomplish each day. Having a schedule can reduce the time you spend figuring out what needs to be done and when, and makes you more successful in accomplishing your goals and limiting mistakes.

 

 

2. Approach one task at a time and don’t get stuck. Give yourself enough time to complete a task. Don’t pressure yourself to succeed. If something becomes too difficult, take a break and try again later.

3. Recognize the triggers that cause you stress. What are the triggers that cause you anxiety, worry or stress? For example, if others are hurrying you, explain what you are trying to accomplish and ask that they provide you the time needed to be successful. Knowing what causes stress allows you to make plans in advance or decisions about the type of activities/tasks you choose to participate in.

4. Join a recreational center/program with people of the same age who might also be dealing with the same issue. It is always good to be surrounded by a community than live in solitude, especially when dealing with the disease.

Looking forward

These tips will take time to adjust to, but they might help in dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. Other options to look into are participating in clinical research. As part of Alzheimer’s awareness month, ActivMed Practices and Research is enrolling for an Alzheimer’s study at no cost to you or your family!! To learn more and see if you qualify, click here or call us directly at 978-655-7155!

 

October 30, 2019

Looking for something to do during your spare time? We got you covered!

ActivMed Practices and Research is seeking volunteers ages 18 years or older to help educate our local community about Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease!

Call Christine today to get involved at 978-992-4192

Posted in Alzheimer's, Blog
October 23, 2019

 

Overview

Depression is never easy to handle especially if you have experienced it for a long time. You might be motivated one day, and then suddenly feel an overwhelming sadness the next day. Taking a shower, eating, or even getting out of bed seems like a chore. You may no longer have the same amount of interest in activities you used to, and often you may just want to be left alone. Maybe you feel that the only person who understands you is yourself. That’s understandable. You are not to blame for feeling depressed.

Depression is the most common mental disorder in the country. 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

 

Causes

There is truly no one cause for depression. It depends on a unique combination of an individuals genetic makeup and environmental conditions. The following are a few factors that may contribute to depression:

  • The brain’s physical structure or chemistry
  • History of depression in the family
  • History of other disorders (anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Stressful, traumatic events (abuse, constant rejection, death of a loved one, financial issues)
  • Hormone changes (menstrual cycles, pregnancy)
  • Certain medications (sleeping aids, blood pressure medication)

 

Signs

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

 

Treatment Options

  • Sign up for clinical trial and/or free screenings for depression
  • Therapy – speaking with a psychologist
  • Medication
  • Exercise, 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

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 along with other clinical practices is determined to find a cure to depression by conducting clinical trials. If you or someone you know is diagnosed with depression or is not sure whether they have depression learn more about our study options might be the right decision. To learn about these study opportunities and see if you qualify, click HERE.

 

 Looking Forward

Recovery is a slow process, but with time treatment options can be very helpful. At the end of the day, 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.

 

References (Chart taken from)

https://bit.ly/2kq6kFo

October 17, 2019

Atopic Dermatitis is a chronic medical condition that has increased over the past two to three decades. It affects between 15-30% of children and 2-10% of adults. This condition causes the skin to become dry, red, sensitive, raw, and extremely itchy.

Why do I have eczema? 

As most of us already know, Eczema can be a result of the cold air during the winter, long-hot showers, and multilayered clothing, however there is a nutrition factor that might actually be making the condition worse.

Foods that trigger Atopic Dermatitis Outbreaks 

The top foods that trigger these outbreaks include

  • milk
  • soy
  • peanuts
  • eggs

There is an extended list of certain foods that trigger the Atopic Dermatitis Outbreak. Click here to learn more.

Foods that relieve the symptoms 

Anti-inflammatory foods such as fish, and foods in high in flavonoids and probiotics. Fish that contain the highest levels of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and albacore tuna.

Treatment options

Although there are many available options for treating Atopic Dermatitis, the best solutions are as follows:

  • Using mild soaps, and laundry detergents to avoid irritation of the skin
  • Drinking plenty of water to replenish the body’s moisture
  • Managing the stress levels with yoga, meditation, and plenty of exercise
  • Avoid rubbing your skin to prevent further itching and discomfort
  • Avoid and wool like clothing and nylon clothing and bedding
  • Take vitamin D supplement daily

 

Looking ahead

While there isn’t yet a definitive eczema cure, awareness of the possible triggers, beneficial foods, and smart personal habits can keep your itch at bay to make you feel comfortable in your own skin. ActivMed Practices and Research Inc. is enrolling for a study on Atopic Dermatitis. To learn more and see if you qualify, click here for the study in our Portsmouth office and here for the one in our Beverly office.

 

 

 

October 16, 2019

As the cold and flu season is closely approaching, all must take precaution especially those individuals who are much older. Development of a respiratory tract infection is very common during this time.

Upper respiratory infections (URIs) are infections affecting the upper part of the respiratory tract including the nose, sinuses, pharynx, and larynx. They are very common infections, with the US alone seeing more than 3 million cases each year. Some examples of URIs are the common cold, rhinitis, sinus infections, and laryngitis.

Symptoms of URI

  • Nasal congestion
  • sneezing
  • coughing
  • scratchy or sore throat
  • headache
  • fever
  • mucus production

Prevention

  • avoiding people who are ill;
  • if you are ill, remain at home until you are no longer contagious;
  • avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • cover your cough and sneeze; sneezes and coughs should be covered with the elbow or sleeve – not the hand
  • wash your hands often, and properly (20 seconds or more with soap and warm water).
  • modify your lifestyle through smoking cessation and stress management, which may decrease your susceptibility to catching the common cold

Clinical Research Study

Although flu vaccines are an option, clinical trails are enrolling for those suffering with respiratory tract infection. If you or a loved one is dealing with this, participating in a research study might be an option. ActivMed Practices & Research is now enrolling those who qualify for the study. To learn more click here.

 

 

 

October 15, 2019

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar, which is an important source of fuel for your body. With type 2 diabetes, your body either resists the effects of insulin — a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into your cells — or doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain normal glucose levels. Type 2 diabetes used to be known as adult-onset diabetes, but today more children are being diagnosed with the disorder, probably due to the rise in childhood obesity. There’s no cure for type 2 diabetes, but losing weight, eating well and exercising can help manage the disease.

Clinical Research

If your current treatment options don’t seem to be working for you, consider participating in a clinical research study. ActivMed Practices and Research is enrolling for a Type 2 Diabetes Study.

Learn more here and see if you are eligible to participate.

Symptoms 

  • Increased thirst
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Frequent infections
  • Frequent urination
  • Areas of darkened skin, such as the armpits and neck

Tips for Management & Prevention

Healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent type 2 diabetes, and that’s true even if you have diabetes in your family. Some tips include:

  • Eating healthy foods. Choose foods lower in fat and calories and higher in fiber. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Getting active. Aim for a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity — or 15 to 30 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity — on most days. Take a brisk daily walk. Ride a bike. Swim laps. If you can’t fit in a long workout, spread your activity throughout the day.
  • Losing weight. If you’re overweight, losing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can reduce the risk of diabetes. To keep your weight in a healthy range, focus on permanent changes to your eating and exercise habits. Motivate yourself by remembering the benefits of losing weight, such as a healthier heart, more energy and improved self-esteem.
  • Avoiding being sedentary for long periods. Sitting still for long periods can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. Try to get up every 30 minutes and move around for at least a few minutes.

 

 

October 11, 2019

 

We are excited to announce our new Free Podcast.

The ActivMed Clinical Research Podcast is designed to introduce the public to clinical studies, the testing of new medications and medical devices on human subjects prior to their approval for use by the FDA.  The podcast describes what clinical studies are, how they are conducted and the benefits they offer study volunteers and humanity as a whole.

Studies show that if people knew a clinical trial was an option they would be willing to consider participating.

Located North of Boston in Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire, ActivMed allows people the ability to participate in research locally.

Our host Jack Beaton is a Research Assistant and is excited to share many topics to help create awareness for clinical research. Tune in for lots of great topics!

Our first episode will answer frequently asked questions regarding the clinical study process.

October 9, 2019

 

What is it? 

Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease characterized by painful nodules and abscesses which form most commonly in sensitive areas: under arms and breasts, along buttocks and groin, though HS may appear anywhere there is hair.

When symptoms first appear, they appear as painful, recurrent pimples or cysts in telltale areas. Because of its appearance and location, HS is often misdiagnosed as ingrown hairs, folliculitis, staph infection, cellulitis, or an STD. But unlike those conditions, HS cannot be cured and the lesions left behind will often refill, have difficulty healing, and leave behind scars.

Women are diagnosed with HS 3x more often than men and their symptoms tend to start around puberty or other times of hormonal changes like pregnancy, postpartum, or changes in hormonal birth control.

 

Treatment options

Treatment with medications, surgery or both may help control symptoms and prevent complications. Some doctors may prescribe the following medications:

  • Antibiotic creams. Mild symptoms might be managed with topical creams that fight infections, such as clindamycin and gentamicin.
  • Systemic drugs. For more widespread diseases, antibiotics taken by mouth.
  • Pain medication.If over-the-counter pain relievers don’t help, your doctor may prescribe a stronger type.

 

Clinical Research Studies 

ActivMed Practices and Research is enrolling for a clinical research study that may be an option for those struggling with Hidradenitis Suppurativa. To learn more about the study and see if you qualify, click here.

 

Outlook 

Although there is no known cure for HS, if you feel that you have mild hidradenitis suppurativa it can be treated with self-care measures by doing the following:

  • Managing your pain
  • Following a daily skin care routine
  • Avoiding tight clothing
  • Avoiding injuring the skin
  • Keeping a healthy weight and staying active
  • Considering altering your diet
  • Avoiding all tobacco products.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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