Clinical trials are part of clinical research and at the heart of all medical advances. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease. You might also hear clinical research referred to as clinical studies, clinical trials, studies, research, trials, or protocols.
People can participate either as a patient with a diagnosis or as a healthy volunteer.
People with the condition being studied may participate in studies that look at developing new treatments, identifying causes of illnesses, studying trends, or evaluating how genetics may be related to an illness.
Healthy volunteers are needed to compare their results to the results of people with the illness being studied.
Some studies do not require participants to change their current treatment, while other studies do. Studies might use brain scans, psychological tests, behavioral observation, or blood tests for genetic evaluation.
People participate in clinical trials for a variety of reasons. Healthy volunteers say they participate to help others and to contribute to moving science forward. Participants with an illness or disease also participate to help others, but also to possibly receive the newest treatment and to have the additional care and attention from the clinical trial staff.
Research is our best hope for understanding and treating mental illnesses. Thanks to help from volunteers, researchers are learning more and more about the causes of mental and behavioral disorders and are finding new ways to treat and prevent illnesses. Without this important relationship between research participants and those studying their illnesses, it would be much more difficult to improve health treatments.
Volunteers of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds are needed. By having a variety of volunteers participate, researchers can learn how different people react to medications and other treatments.
Thank you for your interest in learning more about clinical research!