Clinical trials; you may be able to help from your home

For many people, the term clinical trials conjures up the image of trialling new pharmaceutical drug treatments. However, clinical studies can encompass far more. The term clinical trials is broad and includes research studies that explore whether a therapeutic strategy, symptom management regime, psychological intervention, or lifestyle modification is safe and effective. Trials are essential in bringing patients evidence-based care that allows them to live well with their MS.

Trials are very varied and can involve as little as filling in a questionnaire online, right through to participating in a study testing a new drug or compound. But they are all designed to ensure the scientific validity and reproducibility of the results.

Trials normally have a specific population they are looking to recruit, whether it be people at a particular stage of their disease, age, gender or the types of treatment they have undergone. Typically, researchers initially enrol a small number of volunteers into what is called a pilot study. The pilot study determines the feasibility of a larger trial and helps develop the methods the trial will use. The next stage is to recruit larger numbers, and after that, conduct comparative studies on a larger scale to determine a final result.

A quick look at MS Research Australia’s website illustrates the varied nature of trials. A few examples of trials currently enrolling are;

  • The use of vitamin D in preventing the risk of MS
  • Whether whole body vibration treatment improves gait and reduces falls in people with MS
  • Help-seeking behaviours and depressive and anxiety symptoms in individuals with MS
  • Brain function in relapsing-remitting MS patients who have recently commenced particular MS treatments

These are only a small selection of trials listed on the MS trials website. Despite the varying nature, they are all designed to deliver evidence on which to base future decisions about treatments and interventions.

There are multiple benefits of participating in these trials, it can provide people with early access to treatments, it can help develop better treatments and interventions for the future, and it can lead to a better understanding of MS. Visit the MS trials website and get involved in a study suitable for you.


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Clinical trials; you may be able to help from your home