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Research

What is a Clinical Trial

Clinical trials involve volunteers participating in medical research to help understand if a new form of treatment will be safe and effective. Scientists around the world are currently conducting research to find ways to prevent the symptoms of HD from occurring and to find better treatments for the symptoms. Much of the research is done in the lab without human participants, but sometimes healthy and symptomatic people can volunteer to help test the scientists’ theories. 

The Food and Drug Administration does not conduct clinical trials, but they do help regulate them. Here is some general information provided by the FDA. WebMD has also put together a guide

Some clinical trials involve treatments and some only involve observations. In a treatment trial a patient with HD receives medication or a placebo (which resembles the medication, but has no medicine). At the end of a specific period of time, researchers compare how well the group receiving the medicine is doing to the group receiving the placebo. If the group receiving the medication is doing better, the treatment is effective. All along, the doctors will also be checking on the health of the participants in the trial to make sure the treatment is safe or only causes minor side-effects. 

In observational studies researchers are trying to observe how HD is progressing and what changes are occurring. These studies are important for helping scientists figure out when the best time is for trying new treatments.  

Before a clinical trial begins the researchers are required to discuss what the possible risks and benefits of participating are. They will also let you know what is expected of you to let you decide if you can fully commit to participating.    

Thinking about participating in an HD Clinical Trial? Check out these links:  

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