Topic: Insider

Crohn’s Disease

Posted on June 6, 2017

There are 1.4 million Americans with Crohn’s. This disease is usually diagnosed between the age 15-30. Additionally, 5-20% of individuals with Crohns have a family history of the disease.

Though the cause is unknown, we known that the symptoms are caused by a hyperactive immune system attacking the gut. Crohn’s may involve any part of the GI tract but usually the distal small bowel (ileum) and the colon.

Symptoms vary depending on the section of the gut involved, but usually include:

  • Diarrhea (with possible constipation)
  • Rectal bleeding if colon is involved
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite

Complications include obstructions, fissures in the rectum, fistulas, cancer and perforation. Crohn’s may also involve areas outside the GI tract such as eyes, skin, kidney stones and joints. There is no current cure but patients may go into remission with medication.

There are several different treatments including:

  • 5 ASA (special aspirin)
  • Steroids
  • Immune modifiers (imuran, 6MP)
  • Biologics (Remicaid, Humira)

Surgery is a last resort since many patients have recurrent disease despite surgery. Most drugs suppress the immune system with increased risk of infection and cancer.

We are studying 2 new types of treatment:

  1. Triple antibiotics designed to kill MAP bacteria that may be the cause of Crohn’s in some patients.
  2. New type of oral treatments that will normalize the immune system rather than suppress it.

To see if you qualify for one of our studies, contact us at 423-698-4584.

Tags:

IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Posted on March 21, 2017

Do you or one of your friends have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? We may be able to help.

What is IBS?

  • IBS is a group of digestive symptoms including abdominal pain or discomfort improved by passing stool. Bowel irregularity (either diarrhea or constipation)
  • It is not life threatening and it does not progress into more serious diseases. However, it can definitely affect your qualify of life.

IBS is very common, affecting 25-45 million Americans, mostly women starting in the late teens. It is the second most common cause for missing work and is associated with a higher risk of gall bladder surgery and  hysterectomy.

There are three types of IBS:

  • IBS-Constipation
  • IBS-Diarrhea
  • IBS-Alternating constipation with diarrhea

What causes IBS? There are multiple possible causes of IBS including: 

  • Gut to brain communication defect
  • Hypersensitivity of the gut
  • Altered bacteria in the gut
  • Leaky gut
  • Serotonin problems
  • Post infectious IBS
  • Hormones and stress may be a factor, but not a cause

How to diagnose:

There is no specific test so some believe you must rule out other diseases (Crohn’s, Microscopic Colitis, Celiac, etc.). However, there is a blood test to determine if you have post infectious IBS.

How to Treat IBS: 

  • Avoid food that may trigger  your symptoms
  • Avoid caffeine
  • Add more fiber
  • Drink more water
  • Stop smoking
  • Exercise
  • Reduce stress
  • Watch for lactose intolerance or gluten intolerance

Medication: 

  • Anti-Spasmodic may help cramps
  • Anti-Diarrheal may help diarrhea
  • Low dose antidepressant for pain
  • Linzess for IBS-Constipation
  • Viberza for IBS-Diarrea
  • Xafaxan for IBS-Diarrhea
  • OTC IBgard for IBS-D
  • Enteragam OTC for IBS-Diarrhea
  • Probiotics

ClinSearch is alway doing studies for patients with IBS. To see if you qualify, call (423)698-584.

Tags:

NASH – Fatty Liver

Posted on March 21, 2017

Do you or a friend have NASH or Fatty Liver? We may be able to help.

What is NASH (non alcoholic steatohepatitis)?

  • Liver inflammation and damage caused by a build-up of fat in the liver (fatty liver) that in some people triggers inflammation (hepatitis) and damage (fibrosis that may lead to cirrhosis)
  • There is an increased risk of NASH in people with:
    • Obesity
    • Diabetes
    • Elevated cholesterol and triglycerides
    • High blood pressure
    • Family history

What are the symptoms? 

There are no symptoms at first. However, over time the liver disease may progress to fatigue, weight loss, weakness and right upper abdominal discomfort.

How to diagnose:

  • Ultrasound of the liver
  • CAT scan
  • MRI scan
  • Fibro scan
  • Blood test
  • Liver Biopsy

Complications of cirrhosis include:

  • Esophageal varices with bleeding
  • Encephalopathy (confusion even coma)
  • Ascites (fluid build-up in the abdomen)

How to treat:

  • Reduce Cholesterol
  • Lose weight
  • Control diabetes
  • Reduce alcohol
  • Exercise
  • Vitamin E

There is no approved medication to treat NASH but ClinSearch is studying new therapies.

To see if you qualify, call (423)698-4584.

Tags:

Eczema – Atopic Dermatitis

Posted on March 21, 2017

Do you or a friend have eczema? We may be able to help.

What is eczema?

  • Eczema is a common chronic inflammatory skin disease affecting 2-10% of adults in the U.S.
  • The skin is inflamed or irritated most commonly on the face, back of the elbows and knees, wrists, hands and feet.
  • Affected areas are very dry, thickened or scale. It may be crusty or oozing. It almost always itches.

What causes eczema?

  • The cause is unknown but may be related to an overactive response of the immune system resulting in defects in the skin barrier allowing loss of moisture and letting bacteria.
  • It is found in families with allergies or asthma.
  • The rash may be triggered by exposure to heat, cold, soap and the household products.
  • It may be triggered by respiratory infections and stress

How do you treat eczema?

There is not a cure but the goal is treatment of symptoms. Some treatments include:

  • Anti itch medication (antihistamine)
  • Anti itch creams ( hydrocortisone or calamine lotion)
  • Moisturize skin twice a day
  • Cool, wet compresses
  • Warm bath with uncooked oatmeal
  • Avoid or treat stress
  • Avoid hot showers, scratching, wool clothing, smoke and dust

Other options include phototherapy, oral steroids, elides and protonic (alter the immune system but may risk skin cancer).

What is new:
At ClinSearch we are studying new treatments for more severe eczema and a new treatment for severe itching.

To see if you qualify, contact us at (423)698-4584.

Tags:

Crohn’s Disease Research at ClinSearch

Posted on February 7, 2017

Do you have or know someone with Crohn’s disease? I would like to show you why we need research to discover better treatments.

Crohn’s is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that can involve any part of the GI tract but most common in the distal small bowel (ileum). It can also affect eyes, skin, liver and joints (it is a system disease). There are 700,000 people with Crohn’s in the USA. Most Crohn’s cases often start between ages 15-35.

The exact cause of Crohn’s is unknown but may be a combination of factors (genetics, environment and an overactive immune system).  The immune system is your body’s way of fighting infection. In Crohn’s, something triggers the immune system to overreact releasing chemicals that promote inflammation. Risk factors include smoking or living in an industrialized nation. Being white and having a jewish heritage.

Symptoms may vary dependent on its location, but usually causes abdominal pain, fever, weight loss, loss of appetite and loss of energy. If the colon is involved, there is diarrhea with blood and pain. If the small bowel is involved, there is weight loss, possible obstruction and abdominal pain. 70% eventually need surgery.  Complications include perforation of the bowel, small bowel obstruction, fistulas connecting bowel to bladder, vagina, skin and adjacent bowel, and increased risk of colon cancer.

Crohn’s disease can be diagnosed by colonoscopy, CAT Scan, MRI, capsule endoscopy (swallow a small capsule that transmits pictures of the small bowel). There are also blood tests and stool studies. There are many different ways to treat Crohn’s, but they usually suppress the immune system resulting in possible infection and higher risk of cancer. Non drug treatment could include avoiding NSAIDS (Motrin, etc.) and avoiding high fiber if small bowel is involved. Some patients do better avoiding dairy products, gluten and limiting alcohol and caffeine.

Current treatments include:

  1. Oral 5 amino salicylates (Azulfidine, Asacol, Pentasa, Lialda, etc.)
  2. Steroids
  3. Immuno-suppressants (imuran and 6MP)
  4. TNF inhibitor (biologics) such as remade, Humira and Cimzia
  5. Methotrexate
  6. Entyvio (work on cells lining the gut to reduce lymphocyte migration and thus reduce inflammation)
  7. Stellar (inhibits IL12 and IL23 blocking inflammation cascade)
  8. Antibiotics (Flagyl, Cipro)
  9. Non prescription antidiarrheal, vitamins, supplements and probiotics

Our new treatment includes:

  1. Triple antibiotic to treat MAP (a bacteria similar to TB) that could be the trigger in some people causing Crohn’s
  2. Antisense drug to normalize rather than suppress the immune system

There is no cure but with treatment Crohn’s can go into remission.

Tags:

ClinSearch is Awarded a Coveted Research Site Award

Posted on January 24, 2017

Clinsearch is excited to announce that we have been awarded the Best Clinical Research Company – South East USA in the 2017 Biotechnology Awards. Each year, Global Health and Pharma searches for outstanding organizations working in the pharma field to highlight their work. At Clinsearch, we take pride in providing exceptional healthcare while working to expand the reaches of clinical research.

From GHP: The 2017 Biotechnology Awards are our way of spreading the word about what is a truly captivating and vital industry, whilst also acknowledging and commending the clinicians, chemists, researchers, engineers and MDs creating the way for others to follow. We are wholly dedicated to presenting this remarkable and vital industry with the admiration it so rightly deserves, whilst applying the same in-depth, thorough process and standards that establish the biotech industry itself during our rigorous judging and research process.”

The ClinSearch research team is committed to the highest standards of performance in the conduct of clinical trials completed at our facility. Our executive leadership has built a research team recruited for their analytical skills as well as their genuine compassion and ability to relate to study volunteers. Our group of professionals work together in a team environment with all members respected for their contributions to the study goals. Our staff is small enough to promote efficient communication but large enough to build in redundancy for all critical functions within a trial.  We are honored to receive this award and excited to continue our efforts in conducting patient serving clinical research trials.

Tags:

Cleveland Daily Banner: ClinSearch

Posted on August 11, 2016

Extra! Extra! Read All About Us!

news pic

Printed in the Cleveland Daily Banner- Wednesday, July 27, 2016

By WILLIAM WRIGHT, Lifestyle Editor


ClinSearch: Free Medical Treatment for Specific Health Disorders

Dr. Richard A. Krause, the medial director of ClinSearch, says if anyone is interested in getting the latest medical treatment not currently available to the public, his multi-specialty research facility is able to provide certain treatments at no cost (and with financial compensation), to qualified participants while furnishing them with safe, quality care.

Currently, Krause and his team of clinical research specialists are seeking individuals with irritable bowel syndrome and treating people suffering with NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis) to decrease the risk of cirrhosis of the liver.  Krause said theirs is “a new treatment, and is very exciting.”

“We have a new treatment for GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), which is heartburn or acid reflux,” he added.  “It’s for people having heartburn more than twice a week.  We also have a new acne study for kids and adults, which we’re very exited about.”

ClinSearch is also treating, at no cost, individuals suffering from gastroparesis, which Krause describes as “poor emptying of the stomach,” as well as people dealing with constipation due to pain medications.

“We’re also working on what we call monoclonal antibodies, which is much more advanced treatment for certain diseases, particularly eczema,” Krause said.  “We’re doing an IV treatment for migraine headaches that we hope is going to prevent 75 percent of migraine headaches over a year.  One infusion will equal 75 percent improvement  over 3 to 6 months.  It’s amazing!  We’ll also be doing a cholesterol/triglyceride study and an irritable bowel/constipation study.  Those are some of our goals at the beginning of the year.  We welcome volunteers from Bradley county and other counties to call and apply for these programs.  There is no cost, and we reimburse people for their time and travel.”

Christy Sweet, clinical research manager, worked for eight years as a nurse supervisor in geriatrics.  Her research experience includes weight loss, IBS, constipation and a disorder that affects the digestive system called gastroparesis.  As a lead coordinator on a phase 1 Alzheimer’s vaccine trial, Sweet was one of the first research nurses to administer the vaccine in the United States.

According to Sweet, ClinSearch has seen some amazing results and progress that has helped its research participants live happier, healthier lives.  “It’s wonderful to see the results of these studies,” she said.  “We’re excited about all of our research, and how it is improving health conditions for so many people.”

Sweet said their weight loss study is also amazing as research participants are coming back after three months, stepping on the scales and being surprised at the weight loss.

Krause, who is board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology, retired in 2006 to concentrate on medical research.  He has been chief of medicine and chief of gastroenterology as well as having served on the Parkridge Medical Center board.

According to Krause, ClinSearch has several participants from the Cleveland area, but he is interested in enrolling more.  Compensation for the research studies varies and is based on the time needed for each trial.  The research is voluntary, and patients can withdraw from the studies at any time.

“It’s a way for people to get new treatment that’s not available at this time,” he said.  “It’s for those who are not responding to treatment or can’t afford their treatments.  Anyone can get into a study once they meet the criteria.  What’s exciting about what we’re doing is that we’re working on some diseases for which there is no treatment.  For example, there is no treatment for Celiac Disease except for a very difficult diet.  We are studying three different ways to treat this gluten problem.  There are no good treatments for diabetics with poor emptying of the stomach.  We just finished studying a new treatment that seems to be very effective, and we should be doing additional studies very soon.  Patients that are constipated due to pain medication may improve on our new therapy.”

 Krause said he went into research in the early 1990’s after he realized insurance was controlling which doctors a patient could go to and which tests they would approve.

“If patients were not responding to current therapy, we had nothing to offer them,” he said.  “Now we do – IF patients are willing to volunteer to try new treatments.  Our patients are compensated for time and travel and receive study-related treatment, lab work, EKG and procedures at no cost to the patient or their insurance.  We are always looking for volunteers to help in our irritable bowel studies and chronic constipation.”

According to Krause, who spent three years at Emory University and Grady Memorial Hospital in internal medicine, one year at Yale University for a fellowship in gastroenterology and an additional year at the University of Massachusetts for gastroenterology, his experienced staff enrolls new patients through physician referrals, database notification and community awareness events.

The physician said research necessary to improve human health and medical care depends on the participation of human subjects.  Therefore it is only reasonable to financially compensate patients who otherwise could not afford to participate.  Many of Krause’s patients recommend ClinSearch as a means of helping the community, themselves and the medical profession to devise better medical treatment because of the research done by ClinSearch.

“Our current facility database has a patient population of more than 10,000 and growing,” Krause said.  “We have a motivated, hard-working staff with an excellent track record of producing quality data in a timely fashion, with 24-hour emergency contact by phone.”

Krause said he wanted to reach out to anyone 18 and older (some studies accept those in their 70’s and 80’s) in areas like Bradley County, Polk, Meigs, McMinn and other surrounding counties for greater participation in these clinical studies.  ClinSearch is an independent Clinical Research Center.

For further information, call 423-698-4584 or visit http://www.clinsearch-us.com.

Tags:

Inside Insights from Spaz the Spastic Colon.

Posted on February 4, 2016

Happy Colon

 

My name is Spaz and I’m a Spastic Colon.    I am a hard worker with good intentions but sometimes I have anger issues.  This happens to be pretty common for those of us in the “business”.  Did you know that nearly 15% of all the bowels in the United States have a reputation for being irritable? Unfortunately, when tummies get upset we can be a literal pain in the butt.  That’s why it’s important to understand what provokes us.   I have taken it upon myself to be the voice of intestines everywhere in hopes that one day we can all live in digestive peace.

Colons are sensitive beings.   Second only to the brain, the digestive tract contains the largest number of nerve cells in the entire body.  It’s safe to say that I have a mind of my own.  (Click here to learn more about my brain, aka the Enteric Nervous System.)  There are multiple interacting factors that have an effect on us and some of us are especially hypersensitive.

Spastic Colon

Things that make me go “Grrr”

#1. Communication Issues

I’m not totally blaming the “big brain” upstairs, but I’d say that one of the underlying problems is the way she processes the sensory information I send her.  We don’t always have the best communication and that can be very frustrating for both of us.

#2.  Bacterial Imbalance (Dysbiosis)

Happy intestines have a healthy balance of both good and bad bacteria.  There is a constant battle going on down here between them.  In the event that a colony takes over, a chronic imbalance occurs, known as dysbiosis.  This is actually a very important insight into my psyche.  Many of the symptoms of IBS (and a host of other ailments, mental and physical) are believed to stem from intestinal dysbiosis.

#3.  Leaky Gut Syndrome

Now seems like a good time to address Leaky Gut Syndrome.  A leaky gut is an unhappy gut and arguably more of a symptom than a diagnosis.    The small intestine is expected to simultaneously function as a sponge AND a barrier, absorbing nutrients while keeping food, bacteria and other unsavory molecules from entering the bloodstream.  Leaky guts struggle with this and are often found in patients with Crohn’s, Celiac Disease, and IBS.   While the cause isn’t always clear the effects can lead to many problems throughout your entire body. Including but not limited to, inflammatory bowel disease, food allergies, and chronic skin problems.

There you have it folks.  I hope I was able to provide some insight from the inside. Next time you think your tummy is upset maybe you’ll have a better understanding of why.  For more information on IBS, treatment options, and when to see a doctor click here.

ClinSearch has provided our community with access to clinical research trials since 1992.  We serve volunteers from the greater Chattanooga area, Cleveland, Dalton, Georgia and North-Eastern Alabama with access to clinical trials like this one, currently enrolling for Crohn’s Disease.  While each individual trial varies, most offer study-related investigational drug and medical exams at no cost, and compensation for your time and travel.

ClinSearch is always looking for qualified volunteers.  If you have IBS, Crohn’s, Celiac Disease, or any other inflammatory bowel disorder and want to know more about new treatment options, give us a call (423) 698-4584 or request more information here.

Fibromyalgia is a woman.

Posted on November 18, 2015

FibroHi, my name is Fibromyalgia.  Maybe you’ve heard of me, but like most women I am poorly understood. While I pride myself on being so mysterious, I think I need to set the record straight on a few things.  First of all, I am real. If you don’t believe me ask one of the 5 million people in the United States that live with me every day.  I mean, how much pain and debilitation does a gal have to cause before someone starts taking her seriously!?  Sorry, I tend to get emotional.  I just think it’s time I get the respect I deserve.  If you want to know more about me, keep reading.  I’ll open up about causes, symptoms, and who’s at risk of becoming my new best friend.

Where did I come from?  Oh wouldn’t you like to know.  I’m not ready to reveal all just yet. However, I’ll hint that it may be due to problems in the brain, spinal cord and nerves.

I prefer to keep company with other women, but not exclusively.  The important qualities I look for are as follows:

  • Physical/Emotional Trauma
  • Family history of me
  • Certain infections
  • Autoimmune diseases

I do love my job, and I am proficient in initiating discomfort in the following areas:

  • Deep muscle pain
  • Painful tender points
  • Morning stiffness
  • Anxiety/Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Irritable Bowel
  • Sleep Problems (Oh did I wake you?)
  • Numbness/Tingling
  • Urinary problems

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people get me confused with, Arthur. I’m sure you know him as Arthritis.  Yes, Arthur is a pain but he only causes pain in the joints.  I know I risk sounding braggadocios here, but I can cause pain throughout your entire body!  And here’s the real kicker.  I’m hard to diagnose.  There is no specific blood test or Xray to prove my existence!  However, with the right evaluation of tender points, a diagnosis is not impossible.  I told you I was mysterious.

Okay, let’s talk about treatment.  Science is finally starting to take me seriously.  You may find relief using some of the following options:

  • Pain Medication
  • Antidepressants such as Cymbalta
  • Lyrica (Calms excited nerves)
  • Savella
  • Physical Therapy
  • Medical Marijuana
  • Acupuncture
  • Meditation

Also, I am honored to announce, ClinSearch is currently evaluating a new medication to treat ‘yours truly’. Please contact them at 423-698-4584 or go to their website for more information.

Migraine. My Brain. My Headache

Posted on September 29, 2015

Migraine

Got migraines on your mind?  If you’re one of the 30-47 million Americans that suffer from these monster headaches, it’s safe to assume that you do. And whether your migraines rage for hours- or days, their presence can certainly be debilitating.

 

Pain in the Brain: Understanding Migraines

To know how to treat migraines, it helps to understand where they come from.  A migraine is more than a headache.  It’s a complex condition precipitated by both genetic and environmental factors.  (I’ll touch more on potential triggers in a bit.) There is still so much unknown about migraines, but we do know that when they “attack” a chemical imbalance is underway in the brain.  Serotonin, one of the good chemicals, helps to regulate pain in the nervous system.  During an attack these levels drop, causing a release of another substance called neuropeptides.  The neuropeptide, Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP), causes vasodilation of the blood vessels.  Studies show that CGRP levels increase during a migraine and this may be a major cause behind the headache.

Are you at risk?

Risk factors vary from person to person, however if migraines run in your family you are more likely to be plagued with them as well.  Other factors include:

  • Age- Migraines usually strike before the age of 40
  • Gender- Women are three times more likely to get migraines than men
  • Pregnancy

Symptoms

Some individuals will experience an aura that develops right before an episode. Attacks can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours.  Usually migraines will cause sharp or pulsating pain on one side of the head.  This pain is exacerbated by light and sound, and is often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.  Many variables are known to trigger migraines, and these also vary per person.

Some triggers include:

  • Sensory stimulation
    • Bright lights
    • Loud sounds
    • Unusual smells
  • Foods
    • Cheese
    • Salt
    • Processed foods
    • Artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame and monosodium glutamate)
    • Highly caffeinated drinks
    • Alcoholic beverages (especially wine)
  • Hormones (migraines may precede menstrual cycle)
  • Pregnancy
  • Birth control pills
  • Nitroglycerin
  • Change in weather
  • Intense physical activity (including sex)
  • Stress
  • Too much or too little sleep

When to see a doctor. You should make an appointment with your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms.

  • Fever
  • Stiff neck
  • Confusion
  • Seizure
  • Double vision
  • Weakness
  • Trouble speaking
  • New (unusually intense) headache after 50 years of age
  • If symptoms worsen with cough, exertion, or straining

In short, if you find yourself experiencing “the worst headache ever” you may want to see your doctor.

Acute treatment options include:

Chronic prevention options include:

Additional options with less evidence of efficacy include:

Latest prevention concept:

ClinSearch is  currently conducting a study to evaluate the efficacy of a treatment that will block CGRP, the chemical in the brain that causes blood vessels to dilate.  If you are interested in learning more about this trial, please call (423) 698-4584 or visit us at ClinSearch.com