Category: Blog

August 18, 2016
doctor nurse patient clinical research trial study studies ActiveMed Portsmouth NH Beverly MA Methuen MA

Clinical trials are research studies that utilize human volunteers, as individuals or in groups, to help researchers evaluate health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health-related outcomes. Subjects are chosen from diverse groups of people reflecting both genders at variety of ages and ethnicities unless the study pertains to one specific type or group. The studies are divided into Phases according to which stage of development the health-related interventions being tested are established.

Phase 0 studies usually only involve a small number of people and they only have a small dose of a drug. Researchers are trying to find out if the drug reaches the root cause of the condition and how the drug interacts with the body.

Phase I studies aneedlere generally small, with just a few patients. Once testing indicates a n
ew treatment might help treat its target condition, phase 1 trials are done to determine what dosage of the drug is safe to use, what, if any side effects are generated, how the body copes with the drug and If the treatment is effective in treating the condition.

Phase II trials are designed to determine if the new treatment works well enough to test in a larger phase III trial, whether or not there are inherent side effects and a method to deal with them and to ascertain the most suitable dose to use for the best, safest results.

Phase III trials may compare new treatments with the currently recommended treatment to see how a completely new treatment compares with the standard treatment, to determine different doses or ways of giving current treatments. These trials will generally involve a larger number of subjects than phase I or II as differences in success rates may be small and more patients are required to show the difference.

Phase IV trials are done after a drug proven effective and is granted approval. Phase IV trials are conducted to learn more about any side effects and safety of the drug for general use.  This phase is also used to determine how well the drug works in larger populations and to explore the drugs longer term risks and benefits.

WHY DO SUBJECTS GET INVOLVED IN CLINICAL STUDIES?

People volunteer to participate as subjects in clinical studies for myriad reasons. Some subjects that suffer the conditions for which a new treatment is being studied become involved to have access to the latest treatments available and, hopefully; to help hasten the development of a new tredoctorclipatment that will benefit them. Others want to play a more active role in their own healthcare and to understand their ailment and methods of treatment more completely.

Most study subjects, especially healthy participants volunteer for more altruistic reasons such as helping to advance medical science to the benefit of everyone, to ease suffering and to offer hope to those suffering chronic conditions.  Some subjects state that they want to “pay forward” the benefits they have experienced due to the efforts of past volunteers who have helped in the development of medications and treatments that have had a positive influence on their lives.
Whatever the reason; volunteering as a clinical study subject can have a long lasting impact on the advancement of medicine and the well-being of future generations. The next time you take a medication to ease, treat or even heal an ailment…remember… the relief you experience is partially due to the efforts and generosity of clinical study volunteers.

Authored by: Jack Beaton, RA, CMA

Medically Reviewed by: Marc Shay, MD

 

 

 

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May 23, 2016

May 16th 2016

What is Yoga?

In Sanskrit means ‘to add’ or ‘to join’. Yoga is often thought of as a physical practice but is also a mental and spiritual discipline that includes breath control and bodily postures originating in India.

What is Meditation?

To reflect upon, ponder, or contemplate. Yoga may act as a form of meditation.

Current research has shown that yoga therapy, practiced daily, and was more effective than crosswords and memory games at preserving brain function.

Yoga and meditation havSeniors+yoga_4e36b1fa-0c27-4c2e-9178-7038659cf250-prve been a recent interest in hindering the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. It has been speculated that yoga may play a role in the prevention as well as improvement of symptoms in this most common form of dementia. The most recent evidence of this was gathered by experts at the University of Adelaide in Australia. The study compared yoga and meditation with crosswords and memory games in a group of 25 volunteers over the age of 55. The volunteers had reported memory issues such as forgetting names, faces, appointments and misplacing belongings.  Eleven of the 25 participants received hour long memory training sessions and performed exercises that ranged from crossword puzzles to computer based tasks, while the other 14 were given hour long yoga sessions once a week coupled with a meditation routine they were able to practice at home for 20 minutes daily. After the 3 months, both methods (yoga/meditation and memory games) were equally good at enhancing verbal memory skills, things like remembering names, words etc. But the yoga provided added benefits in visual-spatial memory, which helps people to recall locations and navigate while doing an activity. This type of research will help doctors to recommend yoga therapy to patients who are suffering from this disease. While there are so many different types of beneficial yoga, Kundalini and Kirtan Kriya mediation were used in this particular study and involved chanting, hand movements, visualization of light and poses that are designed to increase strength and flexibility.


Do you think you are having some memory loss? To learn more about clinical research exploring early detection of Alzheimer’s disease and other topics, click
here or call us directly at 603-319-8863.

Credits: Yoga Journal, Telegraph

Authored by: Samantha Lemelin, RA

Medically Reviewed by: Marc Shay, MD

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May 10, 2016
Tick Bite Lyme Disease clinical research trial study studies ActiveMed Portsmouth NH Beverly MA Methuen MA

The weather is getting warmer and everyone wants to get outside after the long, cold New England winter. We want to play with our kids, hike with our dogs, and start getting a head start on all of our yard work. Unfortunately, we all keep hearing more and more about the prevalence of lyme disease, especially in the Northeast, and the fear of going outside and enjoying yourself gets worse and worse with every story. It doesn’t help that the disease is very difficult to diagnose, especially in its early stages when it is more easily treated.

Lyme disease is an illness that is transmitted from a tick bite when it transfers the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. If it is diagnosed early, it can be cured pretty quickly with a round of antibiotics. However, without early treatment, it can turn into a very serious illness involving the joints, heart, and nervous system. It can still be treated at this point, but may need larger doses or intravenous antibiotics. In addition, some people continue to have persistent fatigue and achiness after they have finished their treatment, which can take months to go away.

So what can you do if you are going to have a long day outside to make sure you have a better chance preventing a tick bite?

 

Wear more clothes!

Wearing long sleeves and tightly woven clothing can greatly help in preventing a tick from getting to the food source: your skin. In addition, you can wear long pants and tuck them into your socks for added protection. Light colors can also be helpful in being able to see the ticks on your clothing.

 

Use a repellant.

Repellants with DEET are known to be effective in repelling ticks. However, use in moderation and with caution as they are also shown to have some side effects.

 

Always do a “tick check” after a day outside, especially in wooded or grassland areas.

Have you heard the country song, “I want to check you for ticks?”

 

Toss your clothes in the dryer.

If you immediately remove your clothing after coming indoors and put them in the dryer, the heat will kill the ticks. That way they aren’t wandering around the house looking for their next meal!

 

Take a shower.

This can help wash those pesky buggers away before they can chomp down.

 

If you find a tick, remove immediately.

Since it takes a bit for the bacterium to be transmitted in the blood, you may avoid infection if you remove an infected tick early enough. Stay tuned for another blog post coming up regarding tips for tick removal.

 

You did all you could, but you still suspect you may have been infected, what are the early signs?

The bull’s eye rash

Erythema migrans, or more commonly known as the “bull’s eye rash,” occurs in 70%-80% of cases. It usually starts as a small red spot at the site of the tick bite and expands over a period of days or weeks. It can sometimes end up resembling a bull’s eye with a clear center and a red circle around it, hence the name. The rash can vary greatly in both its size and the length of time a person has it. It can be as small as a dime and as large as an entire person’s batarget_lesionck. It can range from a few days to a few weeks.

 Other early symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Body aches
  •  Fatigue

 

 

If you suspect that you may have a tick bite rash, call your doctor immediately for treatment.

Have a bull’s eye rash? To learn more about clinical research exploring early detection of Lyme disease after a tick bite and other topics, click here or call us directly at 603-319-8863.

 

Credits: SF Globe, WebMD, CDC

Authored by: Ashley Skukalek, CCRC

Medically Reviewed by Marc Shay, MD

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January 28, 2016
psoriasis clinical research trial study studies ActiveMed Portsmouth NH Beverly MA Methuen MA

Psoriasis is a common skin disease, which causes cells to rapidly build up on the skins surface. While Psoriasis symptoms can get better, there is no cure and usually symptoms will come back at some point or another.

In ancient times, urine was used to treat psoriasis. Thankfully nowadays there new treatments like topical creams, light therapy (also called phototherapy), and oral and injectable medications.

Recently damaged skin, such as areas that have recently been bitten by an animal, recently been tattooed, or been exposed to any other damaging act, are more likely to develop psoriasis.

One of the most common misconceptions about the disease is that it is contagious. This misbelief can cause people with psoriasis to feel uncomfortable in their own skin (literally). They may even be ashamed to show their skin while they have a flare up.

Psoriasis can develop anywhere on the body, but the most common places for it to show are elbows, scalp, and knees. These patches can be very uncomfortable, itchy and dry.

The best thing for people with Psoriasis to do is to seek treatment when they have flare ups and follow their treatment plans.

You can find out more about the psoriasis research studies now enrolling at ActivMed’s Newington NH and Beverly MA sites here!

Written by Tori Stubbs

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January 19, 2016
lungs COPD clinical research trial study studies ActiveMed Portsmouth NH Beverly MA Methuen MA

COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a disease of the lungs that makes it hard to breathe, which gets worse over time. The most common cause of COPD is smoking. COPD is currently the third leading cause of death in the US.

Smoking cigarettes is the most common way for people to develop COPD, although only about 25% of chronic smokers develop it in their lifetime. Other forms of irritants can cause COPD as well, including smoking cigars and pipes, second hand smoke, pollution, exposure to dust, smoke or fumes, and smoking e-cigarettes (also called vaping).

The most important step in treating COPD is getting rid of whatever caused it in the first place, usually to quit smoking.

While there is currently no cure for COPD, there are many medications used to help patients with COPD, both inhaled and oral.

People with COPD can take a number of steps to help them feel better. These include; controlling their breathing, clearing their airways, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding smoke and other pollutants, and visiting their doctor regularly.

If you would like to find out more about the COPD research trials currently being conducted at ActivMed’s Methuen MA and Newington NH offices, please click here.

Written by Tori Stubbs

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January 8, 2016
alzheimer

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that destroys a person’s memory, as well as other important mental functions.

In the US alone more than 5 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease. That’s one in every nine people over the age of 65. Currently there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, only medications that may help control the symptoms.

After 65, the risk of Alzheimer’s doubles every 5 years, however it’s possible to develop it earlier than 65. Some people who carry one or more of several rare genes, can develop symptoms anywhere between their 30‘s and their 50‘s.

The most common symptom of Alzheimer’s is difficulty remembering newly learned information. This is because it often begins affecting the part of the brain that is in charge of learning. As it advances, Alzheimer’s can cause more severe symptoms such as disorientation, mood and behavioral changes, confusion about time, events, and places, and newfound or intense suspicions about family, friends, and care givers.

Often people who have Alzheimer’s won’t be able to recognize that they possess the symptoms. It’s often easier for family and friends to identify the symptoms and then help accordingly.

Written By Tori Stubbs

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