What are clinical trials?
A clinical trial is a type of clinical research study which uses human volunteers, also called participants, to increase medical knowledge. The two main types are clinical trials (also called interventional studies) and observational studies.
The Food and Drug Administration tests medicine and medical devices to ensure safety and effectiveness before they’re released to the public. Clinical trials are based on a set of rules called protocols that describe eligibility, test schedule, procedures, medications and study length. The research staff regularly monitors participants’ health and determines the safety and effectiveness of the treatment. Participants may decline to be a part of the trial or withdraw from it at any time.
Are clinical research studies safe?
The government has strict guidelines and safeguards to protect people who participate in clinical research studies. Every federally conducted or supported clinical trial in the U.S., and each study of a drug, biological product or medical device regulated by the FDA, must be approved and monitored by an Institutional Review Board to make sure the risks are as low as possible and are worth any potential benefits. Before participating in a study, a person must sign an informed consent agreement, which provides detailed information about the study, medications and procedures. Experienced, trained physicians who have been designated principal investigators closely monitor study participants.
Why should I participate in a clinical trial?
By participating in a stroke clinical study, you’re taking an active role in your health and helping others by contributing to medical knowledge. Results can improve care for patients by providing information about benefits and risks of treatments and diagnostic products.
You may also:
- Test new treatments that aren’t available to the public. Some trials may provide direct medical benefits, while others don’t.
- Get expert care at leading health care facilities and receive regular monitoring.
How can I enroll in a stroke clinical trial?
To locate clinical trials near you, visit ClinicalTrials.gov. It’s a registry and results database of clinical studies of human participants conducted around the world. Research projects and clinical trials pertaining to post-stroke treatment are increasing each year. Stroke survivors and caregivers are encouraged to check the resource center page regularly for updates.