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No drug or medical treatment can be approved by the Food and Drug Administration without rigorous clinical trials that determine if they are safe and effective. And no trial is possible without the people who volunteer to be participants. Their participation in clinical trials has enabled the development of drugs that save lives and discoveries that advance medical science. Participants may benefit from being the first to try a new treatment and undergo comprehensive testing at no charge; others simply enjoy knowing they’re helping scientists understand the mysteries of the brain.
Learn more about being in a Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health clinical trial from these participants:
Callie Fronczak, MS trial
Soon after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in February, Callie Fronczak joined DELIVER-MS, a trial comparing two different approaches to treating early-stage relapsing-remitting MS. “It just felt right to help research that is trying to determine the best approach to treat people when they are first diagnosed,” she says.
Being a participant “fits perfectly with my lifestyle. It gives me a sense of purpose as I deal with the ups and downs of MS. I hope the trial helps all of us to have a better quality of life and future,” says Ms. Fronczak.
Sheila Strusser, Alzheimer’s disease trials
After participating in two Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health clinical trials testing potential Alzheimer’s disease treatments, Sheila Strusser tried to join a third. But she did too well on a memory test to qualify: “I couldn’t believe it! I was thrilled,” says Mrs. Strusser.
Whenever she visited the center during the trials, “I was always very relaxed and felt that I was doing the right thing. I hope more people get involved in trials.”
Patricia Fagan, movement disorder trial
At their first visit to the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Arthur Fagan, who has progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), an uncommon movement disorder related to Parkinson’s disease, and his wife, Patricia, signed up for a major clinical trial evaluating a medication for the disease.
Over the past two years, they have looked forward to their visits to the center: “It’s a psychological comfort every time we come. The medical and support staff are so supportive and welcoming, you feel like you’re with friends, people who care.
“When you are dealing with a complex, progressive disease like PSP, it makes you feel that you have some control and are doing something worthwhile,” says Mrs. Fagan, Arthur’s study partner.
Photo: Patricia and Arthur Fagan with Research Coordinator Milagros Formoso, Courtesy of Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain HealthBack to All