Parkinson's Disease Clinical Trials (cont.)

Who Can Participate in a Clinical Trial?

Every clinical trial is designed to meet a specific set of research criteria. Each study enrolls patients with certain conditions and symptoms. If you fit the guidelines for a trial, you may be able to participate. In some instances, you may be required to undergo certain tests to confirm that you are eligible.

What Is It Like to Participate in a Clinical Trial?

All patients face a new world of medical terms and procedures. Fears and myths of being experimented upon or being a guinea pig are common concerns of patients who are thinking about participating in a clinical trial.

Even though there are always going to be fears of the unknown, understanding what is involved in a clinical trial before agreeing to participate can relieve some of your anxieties.

This may help ease your concerns:

  • The personal information gathered about you during the clinical trial will remain confidential and will not be reported with your name attached.
  • If at any time throughout the trial you and your doctor feel it is in your best interest to exit the trial and use other known treatments, you will be free to do so. This will not in any way affect your future treatment.
  • Clinical trial participants typically receive their care in the same places that the standard treatments are given -- in clinics or doctor's offices.
  • Clinical trial participants are watched closely, and information about you will be carefully recorded and reviewed.

Important Questions to Ask

If you are thinking about taking part in a clinical trial, find out as much as possible about the study before you decide to participate. Here are some important questions to ask:

  • What is the purpose of the clinical trial?
  • What kinds of tests and treatments does the clinical trial involve?
  • How are these tests administered?
  • What is likely to happen in my case with, or without, this new research treatment? (Are there standard treatment options in my case, and how does the study treatment compare with them?)
  • How could the clinical trial affect my daily life?
  • What side effects can I expect from the clinical trial?
  • How long will the clinical trial last?
  • Will the clinical trial require me to give up some of my personal time? If so, how much?
  • Will I have to be hospitalized? If so, how often and for how long?
  • If I agree to withdraw from the clinical trial, will my care be affected? Will I need to change doctors?
  • If the treatment works for me, can I continue taking it after the trial?

For information about other ongoing Parkinson's disease studies, contact the National Institutes of Health.

WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Reviewed by Jon Glass on March 15, 2010


Last Editorial Review: 3/15/2010

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