|Information on Participating in Clinical
Trials Now Available on NIHSeniorHealth.gov
What is a clinical trial and how does it work? What are the benefits
and the risks? If you are an older adult, should you consider participating
in a clinical trial? These and many other questions are addressed
in Participating in Clinical Trials, a new topic just
added to NIHSeniorHealth (www.nihseniorhealth.gov),
a Web site developed by the National Library of Medicine (NLM)
and the National Institute on Aging (NIA), both components of the
National Institutes of Health (NIH).
"The new clinical trials topic on NIHSeniorHealth will help
older adults understand this vital area of medical research," says
Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D., NLM director. "Older adults who
log on to NIHSeniorHealth.gov will
find information to help them make informed decisions, including
questions they should ask and the answers they should look for
if they are thinking of joining a trial."
Developed by the National Library of Medicine, Participating
in Clinical Trials is the latest addition to NIHSeniorHealth’s
roster of 33 topics targeting the health interests of older adults.
The new topic explains basic terms, the types and phases of trials,
the informed consent process and the benefits, risks, and built-in
safeguards for trial participants.
"Clinical trials are a critical part of medical research," says
Richard J. Hodes, M.D., NIA director. "The risk of many diseases
and conditions increases with age, and it is important that clinical
trials include older participants, who can help researchers find
out if a drug, therapy, lifestyle change, device or medical test
is safe and effective in the older population."
One of the fastest growing age groups using the Internet, older
Americans increasingly turn to the Internet for health information.
In fact, 68 percent of "wired" seniors surf for health
and medical information when they go online. NIHSeniorHealth, which
is based on the latest research on cognition and aging, features
short, easy-to-read segments of information that can be accessed
in a variety of formats, including large-print type sizes, open-captioned
videos and even an audio version. Additional topics coming soon
to the site include Parkinson's disease, nutrition, and high blood
cholesterol. The site links to MedlinePlus, NLM's premier, more
detailed site for consumer health information.
Information about federally and privately supported clinical trials
conducted in the U.S. and around the world is available at www.clinicaltrials.gov.
The NLM, the world's largest library of the health sciences, creates
and sponsors Web-based health information resources for the public
The NIA leads the federal effort supporting and conducting research
on aging and the health and well being of older people. Both are
components of the NIH in Bethesda, Md.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's
Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and
Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting
and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research,
and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both
common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and
its programs, visit www.nih.gov.