If you or a loved one has a degenerative neurological disease, you know all too well the heartbreaking frustration felt at the lack of treatments and cures available. However, at MIND, world-renown scientist/clinicians are working every day to discover new treatment and cures. This discovery depends, in large part, on the willingness of people who volunteer to be a part of a clinical trial.
A clinical trial is the best way researchers have developed to find effective treatments, and, equally importantly, to weed out useless or harmful ones. Clinical trials are costly, and may last months. When the treatment being tested proves to not be effective, it can be sorely disappointing. But clinical trials have proven to be the most reliable way, and ultimately the fastest way, to discover treatments that really work.
There are several types of clinical trials, each of which is important to test both the safety and effectiveness of the new treatment.
- Phase I: Researchers test a new drug or treatment in a small group of people for the first time to evaluate its safety, determine a safe dosage range, and identify side effects.
- Phase II: The drug or treatment is given to a larger group of people to see if it is effective and to further evaluate its safety.
- Phase III: The drug or treatment is given to large groups of people to confirm its effectiveness, monitor side effects, compare it to commonly used treatments, and collect information that will allow the drug or treatment to be used safely.
- Phase IV: Studies are done after the drug or treatment has been marketed to gather information on the drug's effect in various populations and any side effects associated with long-term use.
People participate in clinical trials for a variety of reasons. Many participate to contribute to the innovation of new treatments and cures. Participants with an illness or disease often participate to receive the newest treatment and to have the additional care and attention from the clinical trial staff.
If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial, please find information about current clinical trials recruiting below.
- Current clinical trials recruiting at Massachusetts General Hospital
- Information about NIH-funded clinical trials
- Database of all registered trials