Clinical trial, anyone?

I was just reading about a clinical trial that’s recruiting participants right now. The investigators will be testing a well established injectable treatment against a newer medication, looking primarily to see which results in the fewest relapses over the course of a year among people with relapsing-remitting MS.

When I read about such clinical research, I often read the “inclusion criteria” (the circumstances under which you are deemed eligible to take part) to see whether I could be a candidate. A big part of me feels that, as a person whose MS is (knock on wood and bless my neurologist) under pretty good control, I should participate in research from which others might benefit. I’m well aware that the treatment I use (which, coincidentally, is one of the drugs in the new trial) only could come to market after it was tested extensively on many people with MS. Indeed, no new treatment can be made available without exhaustive human testing. So it’s incumbent upon those of us with MS to consider participating in such research, right?

But, for now, at least, I find I am not willing to monkey with a system that seems to be working well for me. What if I were randomly assigned to the group taking the other drug? And what if it didn’t work well for me? And what if that caused me to lose momentum in my fight against MS?

These are selfish, thoughts, I know. But I’m just being honest. I wonder how other people sort these matters out.

Have you participated in a clinical trial related to multiple sclerosis treatment? How did you decide to take part? And how did things turn out for you?
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Jennifer

Jennifer LaRue Huget, Blogger

Jennifer LaRue Huget was diagnosed with MS in 2001. A freelance writer and children's book author, she lives in Connecticut with her husband, two teenage kids, and two brown dogs. Her website is www.jenniferlaruehuget.com.