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.

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.

Now Enrolling for High Blood Pressure research study

Right now, we’re seeking individuals with high blood pressure to help advance medical knowledge. If you have high blood pressure, please call about participating in our research research study of an investigational drug. There is no cost to participate in our high blood pressure research study, and insurance is not required. Compensation may also be available. For more information, call 866.990.9898.

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New Studies

We are constantly getting new studies to our central-Ohio facilities. This means there is an increased need for patient volunteers. In the next several weeks, we have a fibromyalgia study, a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) study, and a Diabetes study that will be enrolling. We would love for you to participate! Compensation may be provided if enrolled.

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”