Demystifying Clinical Research

January 27, 2012

ImageKaty McNulty is the Outreach Coordinator for NeuroTrials Research. Katy will be guest posting on the NeuroTrials blog, providing readers with a closer look into what it means to participate in a clinical research study.

As Outreach Coordinator for NeuroTrials Research, my job is to spread awareness of new research studies and help identify possible volunteers. As I talk to members in the community, I consistently find that my greatest challenge is the lack of education about clinical trials.

For many people, the idea of medical research brings to mind images of lab rats, bubbling beakers, and mad scientists. While these are powerful images that make for great movie scenes, I’m happy to reassure you that the research facility I work in every day is a far cry from Frankenstein’s laboratory.

When community members tour our facility for the first time, they seem pleasantly surprised to discover that we are set up a lot like any other medical center – patient waiting areas, medical exam rooms, and a sleep research facility with private rooms that look and feel like hotel rooms. Our investigators are distinguished neurologists, pulmonologists, psychiatrists, sleep specialists, and general practitioners who have their own successful practices, and are actively involved in the medical community.

Our staff makes every effort to help our participants feel comfortable and welcome throughout the course of the study. After successful completion, many of our volunteers request to be contacted about future research opportunities because they had such a good experience at our site.

Research is important to all of us. Without the participation of volunteers, new medications and treatments cannot become available. Research is vital to the progression of medical understanding and treatment advances for everything from our common complaints to our most devastating illnesses.

We are currently conducting clinical trials for Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Narcolepsy, Restless Legs Syndrome, Epilepsy, and Chronic Pain. Some of our more common studies include COPD, Insomnia, and Sleep Apnea.

I welcome you to contact me to learn more about our research studies. I am always happy to provide informational materials, answer questions, and arrange visits to our facility. I am also available to speak to your staff or group about any of our studies, or about research participation in general.

Being out and involved in our community is my favorite part of my position at NeuroTrials. Over the last year or so, I have met some amazing, dedicated people, and had the opportunity to learn about innovative public and private organizations that provide much needed services to our community. I am hoping that this blog will provide a platform to not only discuss and de-mystify research studies, but also highlight some of these inspiring people and services along the way.


Sleep Apnea- Not Just For Men, Says Research

January 25, 2012

When we think of loud snoring, images of our fathers spring to mind. Or maybe you see your mother, sighing and pulling a pillow over her head to combat the roars your dad emitted while sleeping. 

However, sleep apnea and snoring are not just for men. While sleep apnea still affects many more men than women, up to 3% of women do suffer from the sleep disorder. Moreover, a new study found that women who suffer from untreated sleep apnea increase their risk of dying from heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases by more than 10% compared to women who do not suffer from sleep apnea.

The study is published in the Jan. 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The research also found that CPAP treatment in women with severe sleep apnea reduces the risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease. 

The research followed over 1100 women, divided into groups by the severity of their sleep apnea, spanning more than 7 years. At the end of the study, about 4% of the women had died from cardiovascular complications and another 3% percent had died of other causes. 

Of the 41 deaths from cardiovascular disease, 18 were in the group with severe and untreated apnea, while 8 of those with severe but treated apnea died of cardiovascular problems during the follow-up.


Is Your School Bus Driver a Risk to Your Children?

January 6, 2012

Does your child ride the school bus? Check out Dr. Rosenberg’s latest article with the Huffington Post to find out how sleep impacts drivers each day:

imgSchoolBus resized 600Over 480,000 school buses travel the nation’s roads every day. Twenty-six million children, more than half the nation’s school-aged population, rely on the bus to transport them to and from school. Drivers must be patient, focused, and alert to safely transport children each day.

In early December, 17-year-old Emmanuel Williamshad to rouse a snoozing 65-year-old bus driver during an afternoon commute in Tacoma Hills, Wa. From his view in the second row seat, Williams first noticed the driver slowly closing his eyes and nodding off before approaching turns. When the bus started heading off the road, Williams jumped from his seat to wake up the sleeping driver.

Read full article.

Follow all Dr. Rosenberg’s posts.