More Than Forgetting

Occasional forgetfulness is a natural part of the aging process. As we get older, you may forget where you placed your keys or what you went into the kitchen for. If memory issues have begun to prevent you from living a full, typical life, then it could be something more. Dementia, changes in medication, head injury, and other diseases of the brain can all cause memory problems. Is your forgetfulness becoming worrisome? We have some clues that will help you take the right steps and get the appropriate diagnosis and care.

Age-Related Memory Loss

Aging brings many changes to our bodies. We can see the obvious ones from the outside, but there are also changes going on inside. The brain shrinks as age increases, making the body more susceptible to certain health conditions, and causing the natural decline in memory. Forgetting things from time to time and making a wrong decision here and there do not interfere with daily life. Age-related memory loss is infrequent and still allows you to carry on your regular life duties.

Medical Condition-Related Memory Loss

Certain medical conditions can cause lasting memory loss that may or may not prevent you from performing everyday tasks or even living independently. Some of the conditions may go away once the condition is identified and treated. Others can be treated but may be a part of a progressive indication that requires long term interventions.

Medical conditions that should go away once treated include tumors, blood clots, infections in the brain, thyroid, liver, or kidney disorders, alcoholism, head injury, and side effects from medication.

Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia affect memory, reasoning, judgment, and other skills. They typically begin gradually and worsen over time. Asking the same question repeatedly, placing items in inappropriate places (wallet in the freezer), getting lost while walking or driving, and mood or behavior changes without apparent reason are a few examples. Treatment is focused on symptom management since there is currently no cure.

Evolution Research Group and Memory Loss 

 

If memory issues are causing concern in your life, talk to your doctor. It is better to be checked out, than to not and miss valuable early interventions.

Evolution Research Group is a group of clinical research sites committed to bringing new options for memory-related and other medical conditions. Volunteers participating in clinical research help make these new options available. To find out more about upcoming studies at any of our nine locations, click this link, or you can fill out an online application, and your local site will contact you.

 

References:

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/do-memory-problems-always-mean-alzheimers-disease

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/in-depth/memory-loss/art-20046326

 


Could it be Anxiety?

Anxiety is a term that is used so often; it seems to have lost some of the credibility. Anxiety and stress share similar symptoms, so it is understandable why the two are interchanged so frequently. Chances are, many adults and children may have anxiety that they have brushed off as stress, or as a phase, missing valuable interventions. So how do you know if it is stress or anxiety? We have some clues that can help.

Stress Response

A stress response is a way the body protects itself from a real or perceived threat. For example, the car in front of you slams on their brakes, and you come to a screeching halt just in time. Your heart is beating fast; your muscles are tense. Your stress response is what enabled you to act precisely in the nick of time to avoid the real threat of crashing into that car.

Perceived threats also trigger the stress response, and these happen more often than the real ones. Examples for adults include stress from financial issues, relationship problems, and pressures from work. Examples for children include worrying about grades, family problems, natural disasters, and health. Common stress symptoms are:

  • Recurrent Headaches
  • Sweaty Palms or Feet
  • Sleep Disturbance
  • Excessive Worry
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty Concentrating

 

Anxiety

 

The stress response is a good thing when it helps us stay safe or meet that crazy deadline. However, your body is not meant to handle chronic stress, and health problems can occur. Generalized anxiety disorders can be triggered by chronic stress. Once the “threat” is solved, stress symptoms usually go away. With anxiety, the symptoms stay around, eventually disturbing work, social, and personal functions.

Anxiety is defined as excessive worry about any number of things and affects both adults and children. This feeling lasts more days than not for longer than six months and is not proportionate to the actual likelihood of the event occurring. Some additional anxiety symptoms are below:

  • Struggling to Control Worry
  • On Edge
  • Fatigues Easily
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Muscle Tension
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Shortness of Breath, Excessive Sweating, Chest Pains

Children Get Anxiety Too

 

Anxiety is a normal part of childhood, and sometimes it is difficult to recognize the difference between a phase, or more. A phase is something harmless and temporary when an anxiety disorder cannot be resolved, no matter how much comfort and reassurance is offered. Children with anxiety disorders show persistent shyness and avoid places, activities, and people.

Stress is the New Normal

Everyone experiences the ebbs and flows of stress, so it is important to learn how to manage it when you can. If you feel you or your child is unable to manage stress or symptoms are interfering with your daily life, talk to your doctor. Treatments for anxiety include therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes.

Forty million adults and one in eight children suffer from anxiety disorders in the United States. It is the most common mental health issue. To learn more about what upcoming anxiety studies Evolution Research Group is conducting that are exploring new options, click here.

References:

 

https://www.psycom.net/stress-vs-anxiety-difference

https://adaa.org/sites/default/files/Anxiety%20Disorders%20in%20Children.pdf


The Benefits of Clinical Research

In 2018, a clinical research study was conducted that investigated a new combination therapy for patients with Anaplastic thyroid carcinomas (ATCs). ATCs account for less than 2% of all thyroid cancers diagnosed in the United States. They have a worse prognosis than other common forms of thyroid cancer. The survival rate for this type of cancer has a low, one-year survival rate.

For the first time in 50 years, the FDA approved the first treatment of ATCs and has become a new standard of care for these patients. Before this study, no chemotherapy treatment for ATC improved the patient’s quality of life or prolonged survival.

The Search for a Cure

Without clinical research, the 600 cases of ATCs diagnosed every year would face the same, grim prognosis that everyone in the previous 50 years faced. It is just one of the numerous reasons why clinical research is so vital. If you get through life without being diagnosed with a condition, or ever having to take any medication, you are lucky. However, many most of us will need medical intervention of sorts at some point in our lives.

Benefits

The goal of clinical research is to cure a disease or condition. On the path to finding a cure, prevention, and improved treatment option possibilities are discovered that need to be proven effective. After being researched in a lab and with animals, the research will then investigate the safety and effectiveness as it relates to humans. So, if you’ve had a hip replacement, a pacemaker implant, or take blood pressure medication, you can thank clinical research. Other benefits clinical research brings are:

  • A better understanding of new ways to detect, prevent, and treat diseases and their symptoms.
  • Providing potential treatment options to those who have not been able to benefit from current treatments.
  • New ways to deliver an already marketed drug or device.
  • Investigating aspects of care and how to improve the quality of life in persons with chronic illnesses.

Volunteers and Clinical Research

It was 1922, and Alexander Fleming was a captain in the army medical corps. After observing the death of many fellow soldiers from infections developed from war injuries, he set on a course to find a better treatment. His research directly contributed to the discovery of the world’s first antibiotic, penicillin, in 1928.

Clinical research was still in its infancy at that time, but research still relies on volunteers to help determine if a treatment is effective and safe. When Fleming, afflicted with a cold, smeared some of his nose mucous on that petri dish, he became a volunteer for clinical research. If there are no volunteers, there is no research. If there is no research, there are no previously mentioned benefits.

If you are looking to learn more about volunteering for clinical research, click here to view a list of locations and contact information. If you are ready to volunteer for one of our currently enrolling research studies, please fill out our online form so we can help you locate a study right for you.

 

References:

 

https://www.joinaresearchstudy.com/understanding-clinical-trials/

https://www.asco.org/research-progress/reports-studies/clinical-cancer-advances-2019/advance-year

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4520913/

 


Clinical Trials are the Future of Medicine

The ultimate goal of clinical trials is to find a cure for all diseases. From these trials, new ways to detect, prevent, and treat these diseases are discovered. Clinical trials play a critical role in  the future of medicine. In this blog, we will review what clinical trials are and the role they play in future treatment options.

What is a Clinical Trial?

Once a new health intervention is discovered, it goes through a series of lengthy tests (called pre-clinical trials) in the lab. If the treatment is deemed safe and effective, it is then tested on humans. This is called a clinical trial.  Discovering how a treatment of device interacts with the human body is a critical step in the process.

Volunteers are selected based on research criteria and experts who administer the clinical trial help record and gather data on the treatment interactions. This data is logged, and determinations are made to prove that  the medication or device is as good as, or better than, currently available options.

Clinical trials are conducted in four phases. Each phase is responsible for determining specific goals. The phases of clinical trial are:

    • Phase I - (20-80 participants) - Determines safety, effectiveness, dose range, side effects, and how the body processes the treatment.
    • Phase II - (100-300 participants) - Determines the safety, and if the treatment has the intended effects on humans.
    • Phase III - (thousands) - Determines safety, effectiveness, side effects, and compares the treatment to commonly used products.
    • Phase IV - (post-market surveillance trials) - Involves people in various populations and is intended to collect additional information after the investigational treatment is approved and marketed to the public regarding its risks, benefits, and use in multiple populations over a more extended period.

 

Why Clinical Trials Play a Critical Role in the Future of Medicine

 

With so many current treatments available, you may think  “Why are more treatments needed”? The answer is simple. There are many conditions that exist today that lack a specific treatment or therapy.. These conditions are typically managed by treating symptoms and making lifestyle changes. There are many people diagnosed with illnesses that cannot benefit from current treatments due to  certain pre-existing medical conditions, or the inability to take those treatments.

Clinical trials provide opportunities for these individuals. Clinical trials are the future of medicine, because without them, there would be no way to tell if a medication or device is effective and safe.

Volunteers and Clinical Trials

Participating in a clinical trial provides researchers with valuable information on new treatments; in some cases, it can also mean the possibility for a cure or improvement in a patient's quality of life that's not available with standard therapy. Your participation is entirely voluntary, and you can discontinue the trial at any time.

Learn more about our enrolling clinical trials and how you can volunteer in them.

References:

https://www.joinaresearchstudy.com/understanding-clinical-trials/
https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/about-studies