Tag: blog

September 24, 2018
AcitvMed_Blog_Mental_Illness_Awareness_Week

Each year, millions of people face the tough reality of living with mental illness. It’s estimated that over 16 million Americans struggle with depression, and as many as 2.2 million adults struggle with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). October 7-13 is Mental Illness Awareness Week and this year’s message is all about fighting the stigma associated with mental health.

The 2018 campaign promoted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has been termed “CureStigma.” While NAMI stresses the importance of discussing mental health conditions year-round, this year’s campaign highlights them during Mental Illness Awareness Week.

In 1990, Congress officially established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW)[i] and ever since then, advocates have worked together to educate the public, provide support, and fight the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Did you know that mental health conditions are the leading cause of disability across the United States? Even though most people can be successfully treated, less than half of the adults in the U.S. reach out and seek the help and treatment that they need. Why? Stigma, for one. Some people describe stigma as a feeling of shame or judgment from someone else. [ii] Stigma can create giant hurdles when it comes to reaching out, getting needed support and overall living well.

It’s time to start standing up to the stigma related to mental illness. If you or someone you love is battling mental illness, you’re not alone. ActivMed is seeking patients to take part in clinical studies for both Depression and OCD. Qualified candidates who participate will receive study-related care at no cost and receive compensation for travel. To learn more and see if you qualify for a depression study at our Methuen, MA location, CLICK HERE. To learn more about OCD studies at our Portsmouth, NH site, CLICK HERE. YOU can help us make a difference today!

[i] https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events

[ii] https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/StigmaFree

 

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August 21, 2018

Clinical trials play a key role in helping to advance medical research. Clinical trials are scientific studies that ultimately aim to find better ways to prevent, treat, and diagnose diseases. If you have ever considered volunteering to participate in a clinical research trial, it’s important to understand how clinical trials work.

Clinical trials are done in different phases. Each phase has different criteria and a different purpose.

  • Phase I studies are meant to assess the safety of a drug or device and usually include 20-100 volunteers. About 70% of drugs will pass this phase.
  • Phase II studies are designed to test the effectiveness of a drug or device, while continuing to monitor and assess safety. Several hundred volunteers may take part in phase II trials and they can last from several months to two years. About one-third of drugs successfully complete phase I and phase II studies.
  • Phase III studies involve several hundred to several thousand volunteers. The purpose is to test effectiveness and to monitor for any adverse reactions. About 25-30% of drugs will make to the next phase.
  • Phase IV studies test the safety and effectiveness of treatment and carried out once the drug or device has been approved by the FDA.

No matter the phase, each clinical trial is led by a Principal Investigator, or PI. The PI, who is often a board-certified physician, works with a medical team and follows a master plan called a protocol. The protocol explains detailed information about what will be done during the clinical trial. Even if the same study is being conducted in a different part of the country, the exact same protocol will be followed.

Before deciding whether or not to participate in a research study, volunteers are provided with key information that explains the details of the study. This is called the informed consent process. Informed consent is more than just signing a document, it involves providing appropriate time for potential participants to ask questions and discuss any questions and concerns before deciding to participate.  Throughout the study, informed consent is maintained with participants through the disclosure of any newly discovered potential risks, and the ongoing disclosure of information as the research progresses.

Choosing to participate in a clinical trial is a very personal decision. Participating may give you the opportunity to access potential new treatment options and give you a better understanding of your condition. ActivMed understands the importance of clinical research and the value that participants bring to the advancement of medical knowledge.  ActivMed is currently enrolling for studies in a variety of conditions. Qualified candidates who participate will receive study-related care at no cost and receive compensation for travel. To learn more about how you or someone you love may qualify to participate in a clinical research study at ActivMed, click HERE.

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August 8, 2018

August brings the arrival of Psoriasis Awareness Month. A chronic, systemic disease of the immune system, psoriasis most often appears on the skin as raised, itchy red patches. Living with psoriasis can seem like an uphill battle, but it’s important to know that if you’re struggling with psoriasis, you’re not alone.

The National Psoriasis Foundation reports that as many as 7.5 million American have psoriasis. Included in that number are people like you and me, but also people that many look up to, even idolize, like Kim Kardashian and Cyndi Lauper.

Cyndi Lauper is an icon is the music world, known for many hits that are still popular today. She revealed to PEOPLE magazine her psoriasis struggle that began back in 2010 with irritation on her scalp that she simply chalked up to bad hair dye.

Unfortunately, her scalp irritation then turned into an entire body rash complete with itchy, scaly skin over the next couple of years. Her immune system suffered as well. It took a toll physically and emotionally, and affected her ability to perform. Now, Lauper has found a treatment plan that helps her to manage her symptoms. She also avoids eating and drinking things that are associated with inflammation.

Psoriasis is the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the U.S. and not every treatment is a good fit for each person struggling to mange systems. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with psoriasis, ActivMed is currently enrolling studies for potential new treatment options at the Portsmouth, NH and Beverly, MA sites. Qualified candidates who participate will receive study-related care at no cost and receive compensation for travel. To learn more and see if you qualify for a study at our Portsmouth, NH location, CLICK HERE. For our Beverly, MA location, CLICK HERE.

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July 23, 2018

Gluten-free diets have become a popular trend over recent years. Whether it’s in hopes to boost energy, lose weight, treat some health ailment, or just to improve general overall health. According to an article in JAMA Internal Medicine,  while gluten-free diets are on the rise, celiac disease diagnoses continue to remain steady with little fluctuation year to year.

While that’s not to say those following gluten-free diets don’t have a gluten sensitivity, a gluten sensitivity is not the same as celiac disease, and would not be detectable in a blood test. Living with celiac disease is much more than just living a gluten-free lifestyle. Eating gluten triggers an immune response in the small intestine and can lead to some pretty undesirable symptoms. Let’s explore a little further.

People with celiac disease can’t eat gluten. If you’re wondering what exactly gluten is, it’s a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. The immune response that happens in the small intestine when gluten is consumed can damage the lining of the intestine over time, and prevent absorption of nutrients.

This damage can also cause symptoms like: abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, nausea, weight loss, and even anemia. Although, many people with celiac disease don’t have any symptoms.

Currently, the only treatment for those with celiac disease is a strict, 100% gluten-free diet to help manage symptoms. ActivMed is currently enrolling in studies for potential new treatment options. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with celiac disease, you may be eligible to participate in a research study. Qualified candidates who and participate will receive study-related care at no cost and receive compensation for travel. To learn more and see how you or someone you love may qualify for a study, CLICK HERE.

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July 10, 2018

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a chronic condition in which a person has uncontrollable recurring thoughts (obsessions) that lead to compulsive behaviors. OCD isn’t just about habits like nail biting, or always thinking a certain way. This disorder is much more serious and can interfere with all aspects of life such as work, school, and personal relationships.

1 in 40 U.S. adults suffers from OCD. According to the World Health Organization, OCD is one of the top 20 causes of illness-related disability.

Genetics play a role. People with first-degree relatives – think parent, child, sibling – who have OCD are at a higher risk for developing OCD themselves.

Most people are diagnosed by about age 19. While an OCD diagnosis typically occurs by age 19, disease onset after age 35 can happen. Boys typically have an earlier age of onset than girls.

How is OCD diagnosed? OCD is diagnosed when obsessions and compulsions consume an hour or more each day, cause significant distress, and interfere with daily functioning at work or school, in family relationships or with normal routines.

Symptoms of OCD vary widely depending upon the individual and the situation. These may include: fear of germs, fear of harm/illness/death, religious fears, urges related to numbers, discarding items, excessive doubt, urges to have everything “just right,” sexual fears, the list goes on. While the majority of people with OCD are able to function reasonably well, when OCD symptoms escalate to the point that they interfere with basic life functions – it’s time to consider seeking help.

Recognizing that you need help is the first step to help managing your OCD symptoms. If you or someone you love is struggling with OCD, ActivMed is currently enrolling in studies for those seeking new treatment options. Qualified candidates who participate will receive study-related care at no cost and receive compensation for travel. To learn more and see how you or someone you love may qualify for an obsessive-compulsive disorder study, click HERE.

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June 20, 2018

Psoriasis is a disease that causes red, scaly patches to appear on the skin. It typically occurs on places like knees, scalp, and elbows, but can really show up anywhere. The uncomfortable rash can sometimes itch or burn. Psoriasis doesn’t stop at the skin. While the physical struggles associated with psoriasis can be considerable, the disease can also affect your mental and emotional health.

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, people with psoriasis are more likely to suffer from depression. It’s even been said that depression is the number one comorbidity of psoriasis. Why is that? Some doctors believe that biological changes that cause psoriasis may play a part. The stigma associated with visible psoriasis can also make people depressed.

For most people with psoriasis, the red, scaly patches can be embarrassing. Many people will opt to wear long sleeves to conceal their psoriasis, and in the summer this is especially hard as heat and sweat can make psoriasis worse. While you may be anxious about showing too much skin, you don’t want to allow yourself to become overheated.

Many people with psoriasis will notice that their symptoms seem to improve during the summer months. While you may notice a reduction in your skin patches with added sunlight, remember to limit your sun exposure! Getting burnt could trigger a flare.

While psoriasis is one of the most common skin diseases, there is no cure. If you or someone you love is struggling to manage psoriasis symptoms, ActivMed is currently enrolling in studies for those seeking new treatment options. Qualified candidates who participate will receive study-related care at no cost and receive compensation for travel. To learn more and see how you or someone you love may qualify for a study at our Beverly location click HERE or at our Portsmouth site, click HERE.

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