Barbara Fradkin – FLORIDA TODAY

Q:  What are clinical trials –and why do people participate?

A: That is a great question and a topic worth learning more about.  Clinical trials are research studies with volunteers, designed to learn more about how our bodies respond to drugs or other treatments.  One trial that is very familiar to everyone is the COVID-19 research.  Those trials are continuing to help doctors, researchers, and patients learn about the vaccines and treatment options to help fight the global pandemic.

We are fortunate in Central Florida to have several companies dedicated to research and clinical trials.  Merritt Island Medical Research is conducting trials for potential new Alzheimer’s disease treatments which may prevent, slow, or reverse the progression of memory loss.  The staff at Merritt Island Medical Research is passionate about working with Florida’s senior community to help educate them and find a solution for Alzheimer’s disease.

Clincloud is a clinical research provider with locations in Viera and the Orlando area.  They are working on early detection of fatty liver disease, as well as Alzheimer’s disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, multiple sclerosis, O.C.D. and migraines.  Also in Orlando, Charter Research is working on Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, diabetic nerve pain, and sciatica. Who would have known all these were being studied so close to home?

So why participate in clinical trials?  Not surprisingly, people have different reasons.  Many like to help others and feel they are contributing to moving science forward.  Others with significant illness or disease may want a chance at the newest treatment and/or to receive additional care and attention from clinical trial staff.

Clinical trials offer hope for many people and an opportunity to help researchers find better treatments for others in the future.  Jessica Branning, CEO from Clincloud said, “It takes thousands to participate in a clinical trial to find that one cure or treatment that can prevent the onset of disease.  Participation in a clinical trial goes beyond a contribution to science. It provides hope for a cure.”

Clinical trials often start in the laboratory, with researchers testing new treatments or procedures. The most promising breakthroughs then move into clinical trials. As trials move through a series of steps called phases, more information is gained about the treatment, its risks and its effectiveness.

To learn more about clinical trials, the types, stages and parameters, come to One Senior Place on Friday, January 14th at 2:00 PM.  We will introduce the team members from a number of clinical trial providers in Central Florida.  You can ask questions of the experts and consider being part of the solutions.  Call me to RSVP at 321-751-6771.

One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. To submit a question, send an email to or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging at Barbara Fradkin is a Social Worker, Certified Care Manager and the Director for One Senior Place, Viera.