Category: Blog

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.

For a list of our other Enrolling Studies click here.

 

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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