Clinical Trials Specializing in Rheumatology

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Can Immune Systems be “Rebalanced” to Help Treat Psoriasis, Crohn’s Disease and Arthritis?

Posted by on Dec 30, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

A recent study by researchers at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute found a connection between the B and T lymphocyte attenuator (BTLA) inhibitory receptor in reducing inflammatory effects, particularly in the skin. The results of the study, published in the journal Immunity, could contribute to the future development of new treatments for a number of inflammatory responses such as Psoriasis, Crohn’s Disease and Arthritis. While any new research is promising, the applicability to direct patient care usually comes years after the breakthrough. The findings in the Sanford-Burnham study are exciting, but the benefits were exhibited in a small test group of  lab animals and have yet to be fully tested for negative repercussions. The best path for a patient dealing with the day-to-day effects of inflammatory diseases is to follow doctor’s guidance to control outbreaks and manage pain. In addition, another alternative is to consider participating in a clinical trial. The clinical trials running today are the safe, tested breakthroughs of yesterday that shape the course for future developments. Interested in enrolling in a clinical trial? Advanced Clinical Care is currently conducting clinical trials for Psoriasis, Crohn’s disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Click on the links to learn...

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5 Tips to Manage Your Psoriasis Pain

Posted by on Oct 4, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Psoriasis occurs when a faulty signal is sent out by the immune system to speed up the growth of skin cells. Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune disease in the United States, affecting as many as 7.5 million people. There a mild cases where the pain is a small nuisance and there are severe cases that can be painful and disabling. Here are some tips on how to manage your psoriasis. 1- Healthy Eating As with most diseases, eating well can work wonders. Psoriasis sufferers are warned against eating red meats, processed foods and dairy products, as they increase inflammation. Fish has been shown to reduce inflammation because they are rich in omega-3s. Also colorful fruits and vegetables are a good option, try and eat foods from the colors of the rainbow to keep a healthy balance. 2- Stop Using Perfumes! Avoid products that contain fragrances or dyes. These product irritate the the skin and can worsen the effects of psoriasis. If perfume is a necessity to your lifestyle, search for formulas that are sensitive on skin and apply cautiously. 3- Olive Oil Bath Dermatologists will warn you against using hot water to shower and bath as it dries out the skin. A bath in lukewarm water with some olive oil or Epsom salt can help relieve the pain. The oil will loosen built up skin cells. 4- Use a Humidifier Maintaining air moisture is very important. A humidifier can keep your home at a comfortable condition. Mixing this with plenty of moisturizer can keep skin from drying out. 5- De-Stress Psoriasis suffers know that stress can lead to an outbreak. How psoriasis affects a person physically can affect them equally mentally. By joining a psoriasis support group or openly talking about your feelings with friends and family you can eliminate much of this stress. Take a walk, have a conversation, start a yoga class, whatever works for you personally to clear your head. While there is no end-all cure, these tips can help reduce the irritation. Every case of psoriasis is a little different and some of these tips may work better than others. It is important to be in touch with your doctor and manage your psoriasis effectively. Through a psoriasis clinical trial, you will receive in-depth and personal care on the path to managing your psoriasis. Read more about biologics for psoriasis and the cause of...

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Participating in a Clinical Trial

Posted by on Sep 17, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

The phrase “clinical trial” sounds intimidating to most people, but fear not, there are actually many benefits to participating in a clinical trial. I hope to completely rid your negative thoughts about clinical trials by discussing the positive impact a clinical trial can have on not only yourself, but others as well. Access to treatments not yet on the market. Clinical trials give participants access to the most advanced medications and treatment plans that are not yet available to the public. People often assume that clinical trials are testing medications that have not been heavily researched yet, are highly experimental and ultimately unsafe. It’s important to understand that a new treatment cannot be tested unless there is valid scientific evidence that the treatment is likely to be effective and safe. If you do decide to participate in a clinical trial, you will not be walking into an unknown, experimental drug study, but rather a medication that has scientific evidence and support that it’s likely to be an effective and safe option. Closer monitoring and testing. You may think that there’s no way a clinical trial will provide you with superior care, but it’s true! Participants are monitored closely and very carefully. Research physicians need to keep track of their patient’s progress and changes that occur. Research physicians want to provide their patients with the highest quality medical care and feel completely comfortable during and after the duration of a clinical trial. Clinical trials require regular testing, monitoring and follow ups with the research physician so it’s safe to say that you will be well cared for. Help others by contributing to medical research. When you decide to participate in a clinical trial you are helping other people who also suffer the same condition you have. You actively take part in finding an effective treatment plan for yourself and everyone else who suffers from the condition. As a clinical trial participant, you play a critical role in the drug testing and approval process, which is invaluable to the medical community. Think of a medication you are currently taking. That medication you are relying on was once the focus in a clinical trial. Medications cannot make it to market without going through the trial process. So, next time you hear the phrase “clinical trial”, remember the important role clinical trials play in everyone’s life and the benefits for those who participate in them. If you have questions or would like to participate in one of our ongoing clinical trials in our Worcester, MA center, please feel free to contact Advanced Clinical Care at 508-755-0201 or fill out our sign up for a study form...

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6 Ways to Manage Your Osteoarthritis Pain

Posted by on Aug 14, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Osteoarthritis is a slow-progressing degenerative joint disease that affects over 20 million Americans. Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis that occurs when the cartilage breaks down causing the bone underneath to fail. Symptoms of osteoarthritis include: joint soreness, stiffness, joint pain and poor coordination. Since there is no cure for osteoarthritis, it is important to create a management plan that will help you cope with the disease and manage the pain. Below are six ways to manage your osteoarthritis pain: 1 – Educate yourself As with any illness or disease, the first step to managing osteoarthritis is to educate yourself. Educating yourself on what osteoarthritis is and how it works will help you better understand what’s going on with your body. 2 – Consult with a doctor you trust It’s important to speak with your primary care doctor who will do the initial evaluation of your symptoms. It’s a process to get diagnosed with osteoarthritis, so it’s crucial that you have a doctor that you trust and respect. Additionally, your doctor can help you manage your pain and go over the available treatment options for osteoarthritis. 3 – Plan your tactics Coming up with tactics for tackling osteoarthritis should be included in your management plan. Tactics can include: managing your osteoarthritis symptoms, improving joint mobility and flexibility, maintaining your ideal weight, and exercising daily. It may sound overwhelming at first, but start slowly. 4 – Get a support system Living with osteoarthritis is a battle and some days are more difficult than others. Having supportive family and friends will help you get through the bad days. It’s also helpful to turn to others who are also suffering from osteoarthritis since they know what you’re going through. 5 – Exercise Exercise is important for people with osteoarthritis. Increasing your flexibility with stretching exercises will help reduce joint stiffness and pain. Additionally, it’s crucial to maintain your ideal weight. If you are overweight, it will worsen osteoarthritis symptoms such as pain and stiffness. 6 – Maintain a healthy diet A healthy diet will help with reducing inflammation, keeping you energized and helping maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight impacts weight-bearing joints, which will further increase the pain associated with osteoarthritis. For every pound you are overweight, three to five pounds worth of added pressure is added to each knee as you walk. Work with a dietitian to create an ideal eating plan that fits your needs. If you suffer from osteoarthritis, it’s important to properly manage your disease. Advanced Clinical Care has ongoing osteoarthritis clinical trials in Worcester, MA  that may help with managing your symptoms. Fill out our form to be contacted about our clinical trials for osteoarthritis and other...

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Debunking Rheumatoid Arthritis Myths

Posted by on Jul 26, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

If you have rheumatoid arthritis or know someone who does, it’s important to learn as much as possible about the disease, including the myths. Debunking rheumatoid arthritis myths will help you learn more about your disease and help others when you educate them. Let’s take a look at the most common myths associated with rheumatoid arthritis: Myth #1: You can only get rheumatoid arthritis if you are old. Don’t get me wrong, plenty of people of older age have rheumatoid arthritis, but the disease usually starts in middle aged people. People most often get diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis during their early fifties, however, rheumatoid arthritis can be diagnosed after the age of 60, and even in older teens or people in their twenties. Myth #2: All arthritis is the same arthritis. Many people think that rheumatoid arthritis is similar or the same as osteoarthritis, when in fact they are completely different. Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease and only affects about 1% of adult Americans. Whereas osteoarthritis only affects your joints, rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease that can affect not only your joints, but your heart, lungs, eyes and blood vessels as well. The two diseases are very different from each other and it’s important to understand that. Myth #3: You did something wrong to cause rheumatoid arthritis. Since rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means that your body’s own defense system is not properly functioning the way it should, there’s nothing you did to cause the disease and there is no way you could have prevented it. With autoimmune diseases, your immune system mistakenly attacks your own joints and other parts of your body instead of foreign invaders. Researchers are still looking for answers to why some people get autoimmune diseases and others don’t. Myth #4: If rheumatoid arthritis runs in your family, you’ll get it too. Rheumatoid arthritis can run in families, that’s true, but that doesn’t automatically set you up with the autoimmune disease. You can inherit the genes for the rheumatoid arthritis, but never get it. We still don’t know the exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis, but researchers believe it’s a combination of genes and events in your life that trigger the genes to become active. Myth #5: If you have rheumatoid arthritis, it’s inevitable that you will become disabled. Just because you are living with rheumatoid arthritis, it doesn’t mean you will become disabled with no hope of doing normal things. There are new medications today, called biologics, that have changed the outlook for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, doctors have learned that treating rheumatoid arthritis at an early stage will help in preventing disability down the road. Myth...

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Biologics for the Treatment of Psoriasis

Posted by on Jul 9, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Biologic agents, a protein-based drug derived from living cells, is the newest advancement in the treatment of psoriasis. Biologics have been around for more than 100 years, however in the last decade their use in modern day medicine has been accelerated. How are biologics used for the treatment of psoriasis? Biologics are administered by injection or through intravenous (IV) infusion. Biologics work for psoriasis by blocking the action of certain immune cells, such as TNF and T-cells, that play a role in the disease. There is a specific purpose for each biologic. For example, some biologics reduce the number of immune cells in the skin and blood that are overproducing, and in other cases, biologics block the activation of the immune cells. Unlike systemic medications that affect your entire immune system, biologics target a specific part of the immune system. This means that biologics are less likely to affect other organ systems. Because biologics target the immune system, taking a biologic will increase your risk of infection. Biologics are most suitable for people with moderate to severe psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. For people with minor psoriasis who haven’t responded well to other treatments or who suffer from bad effects of other drugs, may be recommended by their doctor to try a biologic for their treatment of psoriasis. Types of Biologics for Psoriasis There are two types of biologics for the treatment of psoriasis: tumor necrosis factor-alpha blockers and interleukin 12/23. TNF-alpha is a cytokine of the immune system that causes cells to release other proteins that add to the inflammatory process. In people who have psoriasis, there is an overproduction of TNF-alpha in the skin which causes skin cells to rapidly grow. One type of biologic work by reducing the production of TNF-alpha, which stops the inflammatory cycle of psoriasis. IL-12 and IL-23 also play a role in inflammation. They promote the accumulation of T-cells which causes an inflammatory reaction in the skin. The other type of biologic works to target IL-12 and IL-23 to stop inflammation. Advanced Clinical Care has ongoing psoriasis clinical trials that use biologics to treat psoriasis. Learn more about our psoriasis clinical trials or give us a call at...

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