Clinical trials are research studies that test how well new medical approaches work in people. Each study answers scientific questions and tries to find better ways to prevent, screen for, diagnose, or treat a disease. Clinical trials may also compare a new treatment to a treatment that is already available.
Every clinical trial has a protocol, or action plan, for conducting the trial. The plan describes what will be done in the study, how it will be conducted, and why each part of the study is necessary. Each study has its own rules about who can take part. Some studies need volunteers with a certain disease. Some need healthy people. Others want just men or just women.
An Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews, monitors, and approves many clinical trials. It is an independent committee of physicians, statisticians, and members of the community. Its role is to:
In the United States, a clinical trial must have an IRB if it is studying a drug, biological product, or medical device that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates, or it is funded or carried out by the federal government.
NIH: National Institutes of Health
Degenerative nerve diseases affect many of your body's activities, such as balance, movement, talking, breathing, and heart function. Many of these diseases are genetic. Sometimes the cause is a medical condition such as alcoholism, a tumor, or a stroke. Other causes may include toxins, chemicals, and viruses. Sometimes the cause is unknown.
Degenerative nerve diseases include:
Degenerative nerve diseases can be serious or life-threatening. It depends on the type. Most of them have no cure. Treatments may help improve symptoms, relieve pain, and increase mobility.
Depression is a serious medical illness. It's more than just a feeling of being sad or "blue" for a few days. If you are one of the more than 19 million teens and adults in the United States who have depression, the feelings do not go away. They persist and interfere with your everyday life. Symptoms can include:
Depression is a disorder of the brain. There are a variety of causes, including genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Depression can happen at any age, but it often begins in teens and young adults. It is much more common in women. Women can also get postpartum depression after the birth of a baby. Some people get seasonal affective disorder in the winter. Depression is one part of bipolar disorder.
There are effective treatments for depression, including antidepressants, talk therapy, or both.
NIH: National Institute of Mental Health
Health fraud scams involve selling medicines, supplements, devices, foods, or cosmetics that have not been proven effective. At best, these scams don't work. At worst, they're dangerous. They also waste money and might keep you from getting the treatment you really need.
Some of the possible dangers of scam products are that they could:
Health fraud scams can be found everywhere, promising help for many common health issues, including weight loss, memory loss, sexual performance, and joint pain. They target people with serious conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, HIV, and Alzheimer's disease.
Just remember - if it sounds too good to be true, it's probably a scam. Some red flags to watch for are product claims that:
Before taking an unproven or little-known product, talk to your health care provider, especially if you are taking any prescription medicines.
Food and Drug Administration
Impaired driving is dangerous. It's the cause of more than half of all car crashes. It means operating a motor vehicle while you are affected by:
For your safety and the safety of others, do not drive while impaired. Have someone else drive you or take public transportation when you cannot drive. If you need to take a call or send a text message, pull over.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration