Pneumonia Concern Heightens amid Flu Season and Global Pandemic

Pneumococcal Vaccine—Why it’s important to get vaccinated now more than ever

What is Pneumococcal Pneumonia and why do I care?

Contrary to what you have probably heard your entire life, pneumonia is not a cold or the flu, but a potentially dangerous lung disease that forces roughly 150,000 people into hospitalization each year and contributes to about 3,500 annual deaths in the U.S. alone. Those rising numbers are certainly intimidating, but even more so are the less than glamorous symptoms that ride along with the disease. Chest pain, difficulty breathing, extreme fatigue and a high fever will leave you wishing you washed your hands a few extra times. Not only has pneumonia been a diagnosis on the rise for years, but it has also gained extensive publicity since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and flu season. Dr. Roy St. John, one of Aventiv’s Principal Investigators adds, “It is important for at-risk people to get a pneumonia vaccine to reduce their risk of getting a common cause of bacterial pneumonia (Pneumococcal pneumonia), which can cause significant morbidity and mortality. There are 2 vaccines available for Pneumococcal pneumonia: Prevnar 13 (protects against 13 of the most common strains) and Pneumovax 23 (protects against 23 of the most common strains). Prevnar 13 is indicated for babies and is given at age 2, 4, 6, and 12-15 months. It can also be given to adults age 65+ once. Pneumovax 23 is given to at-risk adults once or twice. At-risk adults include anyone age 65+, or patients with chronic diseases like COPD.”

Pneumonia linked to the Flu and Covid-19?

While we are all less acquainted with pneumonia, the flu is something that plagues us every year as we hobble to a nearby clinic for a flu shot. Pneumonia is the flu’s less famous sister, but they are certainly in the same family of illnesses that no one wants to contract. The flu is a contagious viral infection that has become the most popular in the Winter season, spreading among its victims mostly through coughs and sneezes. For at risk populations, influenza is a leading cause of pneumonia.

The pandemic has left many countries with a shortage of pneumonia vaccines, as healthcare providers seek to lessen the impact of the outbreak by vaccinating the elderly population and rationing remaining supplies. According to Fierce Pharma, Sanofi alone plans to ship out at least 80,000 flu vaccines this year, up from their 70,000 last year and efforts to create a Covid-19 vaccine are at an all time high. Dr. St. John adds, “It is even more important this year for people to get a pneumonia vaccine because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is well-known that there is an increased incidence of bacterial pneumonia after someone has a seasonal Influenza infection. It is not clear whether the same will hold true for people who get infected with COVID-19, but it is likely a good idea for them to get a pneumonia vaccine.”

Future Developments for Pneumonia

While you can do your part in protecting yourself, it has become a national health objective to increase vaccination levels, especially for the at risk populations. Aventiv Research is currently participating in a pneumococcal vaccine study at our Columbus, Ohio location. The primary objective of this clinical trial is to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of an investigational novel pneumococcal vaccine in healthy adults. We are currently enrolling healthy volunteers ages 50-84 years of age. You may contribute to improving the health of others and reducing the risk in your community. Our studies provide free medical care, and many provide monetary compensation for time and travel. To see if you qualify for this study please contact us for more information at 614-501-6164 or visit our website at www.aventivresearch.com.

Company Wide Wellness Day—Taking Employee Wellbeing into Our Own Hands

Wellness Days Off Awarded to Employees Globally

As we head into the eighth month of a global pandemic, no one could have predicted the changes that companies would be forced to face. Working from home certainly presents its own difficulties. With staff being distanced from the office environment and collaborative company culture—motivation is at an all time low. A collective wellbeing holiday is one of the newly found effective ways to lower employee burnout, boost company satisfaction, reward employees for their hard work, and promote a healthy work-life balance.

Aventiv’s Inspiration to create a #WellnessDay

So where did Aventiv get the inspiration to host a wellness day for employees and why NOW? Dr. Samir Arora spoke on this noting, “We had done something like this for our ten year anniversary. I had also noticed that with the Covid vaccine study, everyone had worked really hard and I wanted to do something more than just the normal.” Incentive Days reward hard working staff by allowing them to come together outside of an office environment to connect and enjoy each other’s company. Dr. Arora adds, “It was a way for all of our remote workers to engage with their counterparts and communicate and spend some time together.”

#AventivIncentive Setting the Stage for the Future?

With what seems like a permanent shift in the nation’s work culture as a result of the global pandemic, will companies use wellness days as a new tool to foster a healthier work environment and contribute to preventative health? Before the pandemic, the most common way to show appreciation for valued staff was through office parties, goodies in the break room, or office games. With many people going remote or hybrid, Dr. Arora mentions, “I felt the ongoing pandemic, political climate and civil unrest had taken a toll on all of us. Sometimes these small surprises help people feel better and give a little joy. In the end, if people are happy, they are more productive at work.”

How did the #AventivTeam Spend their Wellness Day?

Dr. Arora was adamant about everyone taking the designated time to catch up on sleep, family events, a hobby, and take full advantage of the day. So how did our Aventiv Team indulge themselves? An employee at our Phoenix location caught up on some much needed hiking time and took in the scenery of the surrounding area. Others took a quick flight to a fun destination last minute to maximize their bonus day. Some of our Columbus employees spent quality time with family, friends, and pets, while others got outside for some exercise and fresh air. This much needed wellness day was certainly not taken for granted by our amazing Aventiv Team. Everyone treated themselves in a fun way to recharge and come back to work with a mental reboot.

Is this the new norm?

The response we have seen from this wellness day off is positively overwhelming—so where do we go from here? When the global pandemic settles down and some remain remote or hybrid indefinitely, should wellness days take precedence to promote productivity and satisfaction? Dr. Arora adds, “I do think there is potential to make this an annual occurrence, with group activities and fun events.” As of right now, a collective wellbeing day has been 2020 exclusive, but looking to the future, it could be a holiday that is critical to “work from home” culture and integrated into the calendar in years to come.

 

PCOS, What is it anyway?

Did you know September is PCOS month?

 

But, what in the world is PCOS and why do I care?

PCOS is a syndrome with a publicity problem. The name PCOS sounds a bit mysterious and does little to describe the condition. Perhaps we should call it The Condition That 10% of Women Don’t Know They Have. Unfortunately, not only can this condition cause unpleasant symptoms such as obesity, excessive hair growth, acne and infertility, it is also linked to serious medical conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

What is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. What is it anyway? Medical experts debate the exact criteria for diagnosis, so that should tell you how much confusion there is about this condition. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is basically a hormonal condition in which women experience irregular menses, usually too far apart, plus signs or symptoms of excessive androgens or male hormones. Such symptoms may include excessive hair growth in areas such as the face or abdomen, obesity, acne, infertility, glucose intolerance. Yes, 10% of women have this condition. And many don’t even know about it. There is a real need to find better treatment options for PCOS.

 

 

What is Polycystic?

Polycystic just means multiple cysts or fluid-filled sacs. Well, we’ve all had cysts of various kinds, right? Have you ever had a pimple? That’s a cyst! The normal, routine job of ovaries is to make a group of cysts every month, one of which releases an egg—this is ovulation! So, what’s abnormal about PCOS ovaries? During the process of making a several small cysts, in preparation for releasing an egg ready for fertilization, PCOS cysts never reach the proper conditions for releasing the egg. It’s like these cysts are stuck in a pre-ovulation stage. These small cysts accumulate every month, which means on ultrasound they appear as polycystic ovaries.

When the cysts get stuck like this the body responds by trying harder, the ovaries make more and more small cysts while the brain structures responsible for managing the ovaries try harder and harder to get them to ovulate. More and more hormones are released, but not in the proper amount or sequence to stimulate normal ovulation. This leads to a delay in the menstrual period, and the unreleased ovarian cysts also lead to an increase in male hormones such as testosterone. This ramping up of the body in response to the abnormal cycles then leads to the obesity, hirsutism, infertility, and other symptoms common in PCOS. These conditions then contribute to the abnormal menstrual cycles. An endless loop or circle of abnormal stimulation and erroneous feedback continues.

Treatments for PCOS

Treatments so far have been aimed at treating the symptoms of PCOS rather than the cause of the disorder. Many doctors prescribe hormones to regulate menses, medications to reduce hair growth, and medications to improve glucose control. However, rather than just treating symptoms of PCOS, promising new medications for PCOS may help correct the central defects in the pathways of the brain’s hormonal management. This exciting approach aims to affect the hormonal stimulation that is causing the ovary to ‘misfire’ its ovulatory cysts.

Future Developments for PCOS

Aventiv Research is currently conducting a trial of an investigational study medication using this new approach for treating PCOS. If you or someone you know have irregular menstrual periods or the other symptoms described above, you may qualify for participation in this study. There are many reasons to consider volunteering for a research study. You may gain access to new treatments or find a treatment option with fewer side effects. You may contribute to discovering important treatments to help others. Volunteers also value the extra time our medical staff spends with them, providing medical care and education about their condition. Our studies provide free medical care, and many provide monetary compensation for time and travel. Please contact us for more information at 614-501-6164 or visit us at www.aventivresearch.com.

Where Acne Occurs And What It Means

Have you ever wondered why your chin repeatedly breaks out? Are you curious as to why your acne is so prevalent in your T-zone? Read on to learn what causes acne and why it tends to occur on specific areas of the face and body.

Why Do People Get Acne?

Your pores contain oil glands. These glands produce sebum, an oil that lubricates your skin and hair. Typically, your pores make just the right amount of sebum. However, when your hormones are active, your oil glands produce additional sebum. And unfortunately, when there’s an excess of sebum and dead skin cells, bacteria gets trapped inside the pores, causing acne.

What Causes Jawline and Chin Acne?

Adults with acne typically experience it on the chin and along the jawline. While both men and women can be affected, women tend to experience chin and jawline acne more often. This is typically due to the increase in male hormones they experience around the time of their periods.
When men experience acne in this region, it can be related to shaving. Shaving with a dirty razor can cause bacteria to enter the skin, and certain shaving creams can clog pores.
To minimize chin and jawline acne, we recommend you avoid touching this area, hold your cell phone away from your face, and take care when introducing a new face wash or makeup, particularly if you have sensitive skin.

Why Do I Get Forehead Acne?

As with chin and jawline acne, forehead acne can also be triggered by hormone fluctuations. However, other culprits include hats, headbands, unwashed pillowcases, the hair products you use, and makeup or sunscreen that isn’t oil-free.

What Causes T-Zone Acne?

Along your forehead, nose, and chin, also known as the T-zone, there are more oil glands. Unfortunately, more oil glands means more opportunities for clogged pores. That’s why acne commonly can be found in this area.

Why Do I Have Acne on my Back?

While most people with acne experience it on the face, some acne sufferers also have acne on their bodies, particularly their backs. The main factors that determine whether you’re likely to have “bacne” are hormonal fluctuations and genetics.
To limit acne in this area, shower regularly with a gentle soap (especially after exercise), thoroughly rinse off hair conditioner, and avoid excessive sun exposure, which can worsen acne.

Why Do I Keep Getting a Pimple in the Same Spot?

Cystic acne refers to pimples that swell under the skin but never reach its surface. Your pore—which is shaped like a long tube—has branches. When oil travels down one of these branches away from the skin’s surface, the branch inflates or deflates, depending on the amount of oil you’re producing.

This can occur in the same area, and unfortunately, the only way to treat this type of acne is to wait it out or to seek treatment from a dermatologist.

What Can I Do to Prevent Acne Breakouts?

To prevent acne breakouts, we recommend you limit your consumption of dairy, avoid over-drying your skin, and choose mineral-based makeup. For more information on how these behaviors can help, check out our post, Three Tips to Limit Acne Breakouts.
We would also encourage you to consider participating in an acne research study at Aventiv. Participants have the opportunity to learn more about their condition, see a board-certified physician at no cost, and receive great care and treatment tips along the way.

To learn more about participating in one of our acne studies or enroll, call us at 614.501.6164, or visit our current acne study page.

Top 10 Facts You Need To Know About COPD

Smoking Cigarettes and COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is one of the most serious conditions affecting people’s health today. And although the disease has been contracted by millions of Americans, many know very little about COPD, how it affects their health, or how to treat the illness.

If you or a loved one has contracted COPD, don’t lose hope – there are options available for treatment, and work is being done right now to find a cure.

If you’re unfamiliar with COPD, here are some important things you should know.

1. COPD Refers to Several Conditions

COPD is a broad term used to categorize conditions that limit a person’s breathing capacity, which gets progressively worse in the long term. The term ‘COPD’ includes progressive diseases such as emphysema, refractory asthma, and chronic bronchitis. Tobacco smoking is by far the most common cause of COPD, accounting for about 90 percent of COPD sufferers.

2. It is the Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.

COPD accounted for 147,101 deaths in 2014, according to the CDC, with only cancer and heart disease claiming more victims. More than 11 million people have been diagnosed with the disease in the U.S., according to the American Lung Association, and millions more may suffer from COPD without yet knowing it.

3. All Forms of COPD Include Similar Symptoms

The main symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, a productive cough, fatigue, and sputum production, over a prolonged period. In its later stages, COPD sufferers may have difficulty climbing stairs or lifting objects they previously had no problem with.

4. COPD Can Affect More Than Just the Lungs

Because of mutual risk factors, COPD can result in an increased risk of heart disease, lung cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, sexual dysfunction, osteoporosis, and depression.

5. There is Currently No Cure for COPD

At this point, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is not curable. There are steps that someone diagnosed with COPD can take to slow its progression, but there is no cure at the present time.

6. Women are More Likely to be Misdiagnosed

Studies by the ALA have shown that women are more likely than men to contract COPD. Reasons for this could be doctors misdiagnosing them with asthma, smaller lungs, and the way estrogen interacts with nicotine.

7. Some Occupations May Put You at a Higher Risk

Most cases of COPD stem from smoking, but more than 16,000 workers die from job-related lung disease each year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Some jobs with increased risk include construction, firefighting, textile manufacturing, transportation, and mining.

8. COPD Can be Managed

While there is no cure for COPD, its symptoms can be mitigated with oxygen treatment, anti-depressants, corticosteroids to deal with flare ups, and of course, quitting smoking.

9. Quitting Smoking After Diagnosis Can Still Help

While some sufferers of COPD believe it’s too late and they might as well keep lighting up, smoking cessation is the only method that has been shown to slow down the disease’s progression among smokers.

10. Testing is Going on Right Now to Find a Cure

Aventiv Research and other experts in the field are working incessantly to advance our understanding and treatment of COPD. Through clinical trials, we are seeking new drug therapies, ascertaining what contributes to COPD progression, and a number of other topics.

We are always in search of participants for these clinical trials, who are crucial to learning more about this devastating disease. Interested in becoming a volunteer for an Aventiv COPD clinical trial? Discover if you’d make a good fit for our study today.

Learn More About COPD Clinical Trials

Smoking and COPD

copdquitsmoking

You’re at a fork in the road. You have the desire to quit but maybe not the self-control, or maybe you choose to justify your smoking as a social activity and minimize the heightened level of risk at which you’re putting your own health. Trust me, as a former smoker myself, I understand the predicament. It’s easy to want to quit but it certainly isn’t easy to do so. Do you need some added motivation? Here you go:

Smoking is far and away the largest preventable cause of death among Americans, and it’s not even close. As the leading cause of death in our country, smoking kills over 480,000 Americans every year – 41,000 of those deaths are from exposure to second hand smoke. That statistic alone should tell us something, this stuff is so bad for you that just being around it can greatly jeopardize your health.

Often people shrug off any coughing, wheezing, and fatigue as symptoms of just “getting older”, but these are early signs of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Eleven million Americans were diagnosed with COPD last year and there are millions of others unaware of their own diagnosis because they don’t know the warning signs. COPD is often not detected until much later, in its advanced stages. If you’re worried you may have COPD and want more info on its symptoms, follow this link https://www.aventivresearch.com/studies/pulmonary/copd/ for insight on a brand new clinical research trial that will help assist you on a path to better health.

CLICK HERE TO ENROLL IN A NEW RESEARCH STUDY
https://www.aventivresearch.com/studies/pulmonary/copd/

PCOS? YOU’RE NOT ALONE.

pcos

If you have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, you probably don’t discuss it with many people.

The condition can cause embarrassing symptoms, some of which I’ve personally experienced firsthand. They can include weight gain, excessive hair growth on unwanted places like the lip and chin, as well as painful and irregular periods.

While I’m not ready to get pregnant yet, I know it will most likely affect my ability to conceive and maintain a healthy pregnancy.
The good news? If you are struggling with this condition, you’re not alone. 1 in 5 women have the condition and as more of us become vocal about our struggles, the support increases. The typical protocol for PCOS includes a cocktail of Metformin and other prescription medications to help manage insulin/glucose levels as well as to lower testosterone levels.

Many physicians also recommend birth control pills to regulate monthly cycles. Because excess hair growth is an issue for me, my doctor also prescribed Spironolactone.

While there are a variety of treatment options available, the need for new and more effective options is at an all-time high. Clinical trials for PCOS are now enrolling in the Columbus area and may be able to offer possible treatment options. For those of us not getting adequate relief from current medications, clinical trials could be a great way to try possible new medications.

You can also see a doctor at no cost and do not need health insurance to participate. If you have PCOS and are seeking a new option, check out this research opportunity:

 

Click here to learn more and apply for this study online!

 

Osteoarthritis aches and pains aren’t just limited to the elderly

Osteoarthritis

When most people think of osteoarthritis, they imagine an elderly person with creaking knees and hips. While many arthritis sufferers are older, there are other factors that can contribute to the condition. To learn more about the causes of osteoarthritis, as well as a few potential treatment options, keep reading.
High impact activity can lead to OA.
Osteoarthritis, or wear-and-tear arthritis, is commonly found in athletes. The impact of constant running and jumping can cause cartilage to deteriorate, exposing the joints that form at the ends of bones. Switching to aerobic activities with less impact, such as walking, swimming or tai chi, may help lessen OA symptoms.
Obesity and joint strain.
Many research studies have found a correlation between weight and osteoarthritis, specifically of the knee. Being overweight or obese causes significant strain on the joints. While there is currently no cure for OA, losing weight may help lessen the severity and recurrence of symptoms.

Treatments to try.
Physicians typically recommend over the counter pain medication, topical creams and physical therapy to initially address OA symptoms. As the severity progresses, prescribed pain medication, physical therapy and even surgery may be recommended. A new option for those suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee is now taking place in your area.
An exciting, new option for OA.
There is a clinical study taking place in your area for those who suffer with osteoarthritis.  Study participants will receive hands-on care from medical professionals and may receive a new investigational treatment for the condition. No insurance is needed, and compensation is provided. Click below to learn more.

 OA IRB

 

Click here to learn more and apply for this study online!

 

CCR Gives Back! Habitat for Humanity Project, 2013

 

Columbus Clinical Research has been looking forward to getting more involved with our community. The perfect opportunity for our staff to get involved was volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit housing organization that builds decent and affordable homes for people in need. Columbus Clinical Research was fortunate enough to help build the beginning stages of a home for an amazing and very deserving family.

Here is a gallery of photos from our volunteer day. Continue reading “CCR Gives Back! Habitat for Humanity Project, 2013”

Combating the Columbus Flu Virus

Fall is in full swing which means it’s almost that time again- FLU SEASON! Every year, the influenza, or flu, epidemic strikes the United States leaving people feeling icky for days. Common symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, cough, muscle aches and fatigue. Generally, there are no prescription antibiotics that can treat the flu, so it’s usually a waiting game. Severe cases of the flu can be accompanied by dehydration due to vomiting or diarrhea. It is important to treat the illness at the onset of symptoms to avoid downward progression. Eating foods high in vitamins, drinking lots of water, and getting plenty of rest are the most common forms of treatment. Continue reading “Combating the Columbus Flu Virus”