In most cases, clinical trials are preapproved studies designed to research the effect of certain substances or treatment plans. During these studies, volunteers will typically undergo a screening and answer a number of health questions. The subjects are then given experimental treatments or therapies in controlled environments. The results are observed and recorded and used to make further adjustments to future trials.
There are a number of benefits from participating in clinical research. Perhaps the most noticeable advantage is the access to new treatments that are probably not available to the general public yet. Moreover, patients will be under the direct supervision of trained medical personnel and usually at a healthcare facility. By going this route, you are also playing a much more active role in the health care of yourself and others.
Depending on the study, there are many different guidelines governing who may or may not participate in a given study. These factors are known as inclusion and exclusion criteria and usually include age, family history, medical history and current health status. Sometimes a study needs sick volunteers and sometimes they need healthy ones, so finding the right study may not be so easy. Patients looking to take part in a clinical trial should pay close attention to the appropriate guidelines and criteria so that they can ensure they would be a good fit for the study.
Wagner Macula & Retina Center offers a total of six clinical trials as of this writing, though the practice has had a hand in over 10 trials thus far. These studies are very carefully screened and are designed with the community in mind. Anyone choosing to partake in these trials will have access to brand new treatment options that may also potentially come with compensation for some approved studies.
The current clinical trials open for enrollment include three studies each in the fields of wet age-related macular degeneration and dry age-related macular degeneration.