Dispelling 3 Common Myths About Clinical Trials

Health & Medical Blog

Living with Parkinson's disease can come with many challenges, even as modern medicine offers a variety of treatment options. If you're still in the early stages of your disease, you're probably still coming to terms with your prognosis and options for maintaining your quality of life in the future. Clinical trials may offer an alternative to traditional treatments worth considering.

Unfortunately, many people may have misconceptions about how clinical trials work or what they must do if they agree to participate. While you should always discuss any questions or concerns with your medical care team, this guide will help dispel three common myths about participating in clinical research trials.

1. You Won't Need To Do Anything

Clinical trials can vary substantially in design and cover a range of medical interventions. While some studies may focus on drugs, others may concentrate on non-pharmaceutical interventions or even changes in diet or behavior. Because every trial is unique, your level of participation may be more significant than you expect.

Before agreeing to a trial, it's crucial to have an honest discussion about what you'll need to do and how much commitment is required. Your participation in a trial can potentially help many other people with Parkinson's disease, so it's essential to understand your obligations and commit to the entire length of the study.

2. You'll Miss Out On Effective Treatments

One common fear with study participants is that they'll receive a placebo and miss out on taking existing and effective treatments. In reality, ethically-designed clinical trials never deny patients effective therapies. Instead, researchers compare new therapies to existing options, and the "placebo" is typically a standard course of treatment.

Of course, you should still discuss any concerns about receiving a placebo with the clinical trial team. While they may not be able to tell you which treatment you'll receive, they will be able to explain the minimum standard of care that you'll receive during the study. In most cases, being part of the control group will mean receiving the same care you'd receive if you weren't taking part in the trial.

3. You Won't Be Able To Change Treatments

You can always choose to leave a clinical trial for any reason. However, you shouldn't take this step lightly. Staying with a trial until completion helps advance medical research and gives you the best chance of benefiting from the treatment. If you wish to leave for any reason, it's usually a good idea to first discuss your reasons with your doctor, although the decision is ultimately up to you.

For more information, reach out to a company such as Institute for Neurodegenerative Disorders.


22 December 2021

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