Why Clinical Research Participation Must Also Be Considered An Alternative Therapy?

A researcher at Stanford University surveyed 1,035 randomly selected people and reported that 40% of them had research computertried alternative health care such as chiropractic, acupuncture, or homeopathy (Astin, 1998).  It is no surprise to learn that alternative medicine is increasingly seen as a healthcare option by consumers.

The popularity of herbal remedies and pharmaceuticals has given way to a new industry called nutriceuticals.  There are plenty of mainstream examples of supplements being used to combat neuropsychological conditions.  St. Johns Wort, also known as hypericum, is recommended to treat depression.  Kava and valerian have claims to treat anxiety.  Ginko Biloba is thought to help people with symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Why are these alternative health types of compounds causing Americans to spend billions of dollars each year?  One reason is that some people do find relief by treating themselves via the health food store route.  Others have an interest in supplementing their diets in hopes of an enhanced cure.

The CDC estimates that 9.1% of the U.S. population are diagnosed or suffer from depression.  There are a large number of antidepressants approved by the FDA to treat this illness but since there is no cure, some managed care companies see this illness as a black hole which can decrease profits significantly.  Thus there are treatment restrictions such as whether one can see a psychiatrist or not, which medications can be used, and how many days of treatment are covered.

Data from a clinical treatment program called the Texas Algorithm Project revealed that up to 70% of patients treated with an antidepressant did not respond to their first treatment. This leads to frustration on the part of the patient, family and even the healthcare provider.  Some opt to add supplements in an attempt to obtain improvement or relief from symptoms, others try new medications and finally others look into clinical investigations, also called clinical trials.

The clinical research alternative is offered at numerous medical facilities such as clinics, hospitals and universities.  Instead of trying to treat oneself, clinical research puts you in contact and under the supervision of a medical doctor and at no cost to you.  These clinical research studies traditionally offer a research level diagnostic evaluation, free medical evaluation including physical examination, labs and oftentimes an electrocardiogram.  If you qualify for study participation you will sometimes be placed in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial where neither you nor your doctor will know whether you are on drug or placebo.  There are times when treatment is of an already approved drug, is undergoing testing prior to being submitted to the FDA or is an approved medication seeking data for a new approval by the FDA.

The Institute for Advanced Medical Research conducts clinical research studies in the areas of anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, ADHD, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and Alzheimer’s disease.  All inquiries are kept confidential and occur with no obligation for the caller.  Call 770-817-9200 and find out more about this “alternative” medical research program and our facility.  No insurance, no managed care, and no money are required.