The most important thing for a potential clinical trial volunteer to know about clinical research is how invaluable a contribution it is to participate.
Recruiting volunteers to participate in clinical trials is a well-known and enduring obstacle to research progress, and the effect is staggering: 85 percent of trials across all diseases face delays and 30 percent never even get off the ground due to low enrollment. And Parkinson’s disease (PD) trials are no exception – fewer than 10 percent of Parkinson’s patients participate.
Every one of us, at some point in our lives, will face the daunting challenge of having to choose between medical options for ourselves, our family and our friends. Clinical trials are playing a large and growing role among the options for patients and their health care providers to evaluate and consider. Nearly 4,000 experimental drug therapies are in active clinical trials today and that number will continue to grow as improvements are made in detecting disease, in understanding the root causes of acute and chronic illnesses, and in discovering medical innovations. And in the not-so-di
A flourishing clinical research enterprise is critical in order to advance medical knowledge and practice for today’s patients, as well as for those in the future. The information obtained from individual trials may be like small building blocks that contribute incrementally to medical knowledge, or they may yield significant breakthroughs.
I have often thought of what I – or my elderly mother or uninformed nephew—would wish to know before deciding about participation in clinical research, but it is nearly impossible to narrow the desired information to the one most important point. On the one hand, what any individual needs to – or wishes to – know will differ and be filtered through their personal and health situation, life experiences, nature and character. On the other hand, this is because the decision is, at its core, a nuanced choice that involves a balance between often competing factors.