Category: Uncategorized

September 21, 2020
pain awareness month

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

lower back pain

The Face of Chronic Pain

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

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

The Cost of Chronic Pain

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

chronic pain studies statistics

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

References:

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

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

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

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September 16, 2020
virtual tour of Portsmouth site

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

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

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

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Posted in Blog, Uncategorized
September 2, 2020

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

Get Involved

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

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

Alzheimer’s Diagnosis Stories

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

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

Free baseline memory screen

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

References:

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

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

https://www.worldalzmonth.org/

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August 20, 2020

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

The Dangers of Lyme Disease

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

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

Prevalence in Children

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

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

The Future of Lyme Disease

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

To learn more, please select your nearest location:

Beverly, MA

Methuen, MA

Portsmouth, NH

References:

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

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

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

 

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August 11, 2020

ActivMed announces it’s 2020 Citizen Scientist Nominees

 

Terry Stubbs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 11, 2020

ActivMed Practices & Research, Inc.                                      

978-655-7155

info@activmedresearch.com

 

2020 Citizen Scientist Awards®

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

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

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

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

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

This year’s nominees are:

Ted Boileau- Champion Award

Haverhill, MA

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

 

 

Alan Hall- Cornerstone Award

 

Orr’s Island, ME

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

 

 

Katherine Hall- Collaborator Award

Orr’s Island, ME

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

 

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

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

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

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

###

 

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August 1, 2020

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

History of Vaccines

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

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

The Fight to End COVID-19

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

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

References:

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

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

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

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

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July 21, 2020

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

From Care Partner to Caregiver and Burnout

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

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

Signs of Caregiver Burnout:

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

How to be a Healthy Caregiver

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

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

Research for a Better Future Free of Alzheimer’s

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

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

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

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

References:

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

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

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

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July 8, 2020

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

Eczema and Psoriasis Summertime Care

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

Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)

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

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

Psoriasis

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

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

Other Summer Skin Issues

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

Clinical Research is Improving Options for Skin Conditions

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

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

References:

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

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

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

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June 17, 2020
COVID-19 Study Now Enrolling

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

COVID-19 Study Now Enrolling

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

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

To learn more about this study, please call

978-655-7155.

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June 15, 2020

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

Stress Relief Tips

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

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

Brain Exercises

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

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

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

 

References:

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

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

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

 

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June 3, 2020

 We are accepting new patients

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

Accepting New Patients

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Posted in Uncategorized
June 1, 2020

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

Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

References:

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

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

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

 

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May 20, 2020

 

Today we are celebrating Clinical Trials Day #CTD2020

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

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

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

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May 19, 2020

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

Chronic Conditions and Stroke Risk

 

 

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

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

Hidden Dangers of Stress and the Pandemic

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

Know the Signs

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

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

 

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

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

References:

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

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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

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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/

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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!

 

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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

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Posted in Alzheimer's, Blog
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.

 

 

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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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September 17, 2019

Respiratory infections, like RSV and pneumonia, continue to wreak havoc on the elderly population year after year. Some call it a “hidden epidemic”. To better understand why the elderly are more vulnerable to respiratory infections, we need to look at what happens to our bodies internally as we grow older.

The Toll of Time

As we age, our immune systems become less effective, called immunosenescence. The immune response decline is different for everyone after age 65. However, everyone after that age is more susceptible to infections than when they were younger.

Risk Factors

With a less effective immune system combined with the increase and severity of a respiratory tract infection, the results can be life-threatening. Some risk factors include:

  • Chronic Conditions- Heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and COPD are a few examples. Conditions that affect the ability to produce a strong cough can be especially dangerous.
  • Infectious Environments- Any place where sick people gather for treatment or are living, such as hospitals and nursing homes.

 

Prevention

Experts agree that prevention is still the best defense against respiratory infection. The CDC has the following recommendations when it comes to reducing the chances of contracting a respiratory infection:

 

  • Wash Your Hands Often Use soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap is not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Keep Up With Regular Vaccinations: Keep up to date on recommended vaccines
  • Keep Hands off Your Face- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid Close Contact with Sick People- Avoid kissing, sharing drinks, or sharing eating utensils with people who have symptoms of being sick
  • Cover Coughs and Sneezes- Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. Throw tissues in the trash after
  • Clean/Disinfect Surfaces- Disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched, such as doorknobs
  • Stay Home When You Are Sick- Staying home (when possible) from work or other public places when you are sick prevents it spreading to others

 

At ActivMed Practices & Research, Inc., we are committed to not only working with patients to find current treatments that will deliver the most impactful results, but also working to develop new treatment options through clinical studies.

We are currently seeking patients for upcoming studies evaluating trial medications that may prevent RTI in those 65 and older. Qualified candidates who participate will receive study-related care at no cost. There is also compensation for travel. To learn more and see how you or someone you love may qualify for a study, please click HERE.

 

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/rsv/factsheet-older-adults.html

https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/infections/older-adults-higher-risk-respiratory-infections

https://www.aging.com/what-causes-pneumonia-in-the-elderly/

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