CLINICAL TRIALS AND STUDIES
Clinical trials are part of clinical research and at the heart of all medical advances. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease.
Treatments might be new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or devices, or new ways to use existing treatments.
The goal of clinical trials is to determine if a new test or treatment works and is safe. Clinical trials can also look at other aspects of care, such as improving the quality of life for people with chronic illnesses.
People participate in clinical trials for a variety of reasons. Healthy volunteers say they participate to help others and to contribute to moving science forward. Participants with an illness or disease also participate to help others, but also to possibly receive the newest treatment and to have the additional care and attention from the clinical trial staff.
Clinical trials offer hope for many people and an opportunity to help researchers find better treatments for others in the future.
What is a Clinical Trial?
As part of clinical research, researchers may conduct a clinical trial (also known as medical research, clinical study or drug trial) to answer questions about the safety and effectiveness of new medical interventions, including ways to screen, diagnose, treat, or prevent disease. Other examples of clinical research include: long-term studies that involve psychological tests or brain scans; genetic studies that involve blood tests but no changes in medication; and studies of family history that involve talking to family members to learn about people’s medical needs and history. .
Every clinical trial follows a pre-defined protocol that includes: clear criteria for eligibility; detailed information about the purpose of the study; who is conducting it and the exact procedures; and risks and potential benefits. Researchers will present essential information about the study to patients considering participation and should provide time to answer any questions. This information will also be presented in writing for participants to review and sign as part of an informed consent process for joining the study.
What to Expect
Not everyone who is interested in participating in a specific clinical trial will be eligible. Each study protocol has strict inclusion and exclusion criteria to ensure that the results can be interpreted clearly. If a person is eligible, the research team will explain the study in detail including potential risks and benefits and what the volunteer must do if he or she becomes involved. After careful consideration, the interested volunteer will sign the informed consent and be enrolled.
Members of the research team will evaluate the participant’s health at the start of the trial and give the person specific instructions about participating. The participant will be monitored carefully during the study according to the protocol, and typically will have some continued contact with the research team after the trial is finished. Usually, there is no cost to the participant for study-related services; travel expenses may be covered as well but it is important to ask if any travel expenses are covered and up to what maximum dollar amount.
How to Participate
If you are interested in participating in clinical trials or clinical studies, make sure you understand what is involved in volunteering for clinical research as well as the details of the specific study for which they are eligible.
There are various ways to learn about what clinical research is being conducted in Essential Tremor.
ClinicalTrials.gov – maintained by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) of federally and privately funded clinical research, the registry provides patients, family members, and members of the public easy and free access to information on clinical studies for a wide range of diseases and conditions.