What is a clinical trial?
A clinical trial (also called clinical research) is a research study in human volunteers to answer specific health questions. Carefully conducted clinical trials are the fastest and safest way to find treatments that work in people and ways to improve health. Interventional trials determine whether experimental treatments or new ways of using known therapies are safe and effective under controlled environments. Observational trials address health issues in large groups of people or populations in natural settings.
Why participate in a clinical trial?
Participants in clinical trials can play a more active role in their own health care, gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available, and help others by contributing to medical research.
Who can participate in a clinical trial?
All clinical trials have guidelines about who can participate. Using inclusion/exclusion criteria is an important principle of medical research that helps to produce reliable results. The factors that allow someone to participate in a clinical trial are called "inclusion criteria" and those that disallow someone from participating are called "exclusion criteria". These criteria are based on such factors as age, gender, the type and stage of a disease, previous treatment history, and other medical conditions. Before joining a clinical trial, a participant must qualify for the study. Some research studies seek participants with illnesses or conditions to be studied in the clinical trial, while others need healthy participants. It is important to note that inclusion and exclusion criteria are not used to reject people personally. Instead, the criteria are used to identify appropriate participants and keep them safe. The criteria help ensure that researchers will be able to answer the questions they plan to study.
What Do We Study?
Asthma is caused by inflammation in the airways. When an asthma attack occurs, the muscles surrounding the airways become tight and the lining of the air passages swells. This reduces the amount of air that can pass by.In sensitive people, asthma symptoms can be triggered by breathing in allergy-causing substances such as animals, dust, changes in weather, chemicals, and pollen. Aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs can also provoke asthma.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. "Progressive" means the disease gets worse over time. COPD can cause coughing that produces large amounts of mucus (a slimy substance), wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Most people who have COPD smoke or used to smoke. Long-term exposure to other lung irritants—such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust—also may contribute to COPD.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 70 million American are operating on inadequate sleep. Sleep represents a third of our lives and has a tremendous impact on how we live, think and function during the other two thirds. Sleep problems not only affect your energy level, mood, work, or school performance, and general outlook on life, but more and more studies are finding that they can also contribute to many serious health issues including heart disease, stroke, blood pressure problems, diabetes and injuries from accidents. In fact, left untreated, sleep disorders can increase your crash risk up to seven times. almost 20% of all serious car-crash injuries are associated with driver sleepiness.