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Taking the Sting Out of Lyme Disease

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

Coastal Connecticut Research has an occasional column in “The Times” newspaper in Southeastern Connecticut.  Our most recent column discusses Lyme disease.  This was published in “The Times” on 9/11/2017.

There’s a lot we can boast about living in Southeastern Connecticut. Residents have access to Long Island Sound and lovely beaches, great recreation, beautiful vistas and some wonderful tourist attractions.  We also have the distinction of being the “birthplace” of Lyme disease.

Lyme disease has likely been around longer than the first time it was officially recognized in the Lyme, Connecticut area in 1975.  How did our realization that a small tick could wreak such havoc in regards to people’s health come about?  (And let’s not forget our pets affected as well!)

According to the Center for Disease Control, Lyme disease infects 300,000 people per year and is among the fastest growing vector-borne infectious diseases in the U.S.  Lyme disease was initially regarded as an East Coast occurrence, but has now spread throughout US. Abroad, a British rugby player, Matt Dawson,  recently made headlines for chronicling his battle with Lyme. He contracted the disease in England and has become a proponent of educating the public about his ordeal.
The genesis of officially recognizing what we now know today as Lyme disease harkens back to the early 1970’s.  At that time, children and adults in the Lyme area were living with some troubling health issues such as swollen knees, rashes on the skin, headaches, chronic fatigue and in some cases, paralysis.  Many of these individuals had no diagnosis as a result of their symptoms and no treatment.  Apparently, some of the women in this group, including mothers of suffering children, fought hard and advocated to be taken more seriously.  Their tenacity, and the work of researchers, eventually led to the recognition of Lyme disease.

Researchers ultimately learned Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Today, Lyme disease is diagnosed by a combination of signs, symptoms and lab testing.  The diagnosis of Lyme can be complicated by the fact there is no “gold standard” test for the diagnosis of early Lyme disease.  The bullseye rash, known medically as an Erythema Migrans (EM) rash, has been generally accepted as the marker of early Lyme infection.  However, the rash does not appear in all cases.  That rash can also be confused with other rashes.  What are people to do?

Today, researchers continue to study Lyme disease.  A current study underway in New London is aiming to develop a method of detecting Lyme disease earlier.  By establishing a series of tests to detect Lyme, perhaps we can diagnose the disease sooner in individuals who have been bitten by a tick.  Those participating in the study have either the appearance of a bullseye rash due to a tick bite or were recently bitten by a tick and are in the early stages of Lyme.  Those individuals have not yet taken an antibiotic for treatment.

What we do know is Lyme disease can be debilitating.  Through the persistence of people suffering from Lyme disease and going undiagnosed, we ultimately found out just how damaging a tick bite could be.  Through people who have been bitten by a tick coming forward to participate in research, someday we may be able to diagnose the disease sooner, thus treating individuals for the disease sooner.

Those who are interested in learning about Lyme research are welcome to speak with a member of the CCRstudies team by calling (860) 443-4567 or visit www.CCRstudies.com.

MaryLou Gannotti is the Director of Public Relations and Communications at Coastal Connecticut Research in New London. She can be reached by phone at (860) 443-4567 and by email at marylou@ccrstudies.com.

Nationwide Birth Control Study

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Evofem Biosciences, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of women’s health products, announced the enrollment of the first patient in a Phase 3 clinical trial evaluating AMPHORA for the prevention of pregnancy.  Coastal Connecticut Research was selected by Evofem Biosciences as research site for the study. Dr. Robert M. Spitz is serving as the Primary Investigator in the study which is being conducted throughout the United States.  Research nurses include Kelley Sanok RN, Jeannine Elliott RN and Diane Palmer RN.

AMPHORA is an investigational compound being studied as a vaginal contraceptive and for the prevention of certain vaginal infections.  The local study is focusing on pregnancy prevention.  Women ages 18-35 throughout the country are participating in the study.

Coastal Connecticut Research has conducted a number of research trials pertaining to women’s healthcare and is announcing upcoming studies on stress urinary incontinence, hot flashes, and decreased sexual desire.

Those interested in learning more can contact the site at (860) 443-4567 or visit www.CCRstudies.com.  Coastal Connecticut Research is located on Montauk Avenue in New London, CT.

Lisa Bragaw, PharmD Joins Team

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Lisa Bragaw PharmD

We are thrilled to welcome Lisa Bragaw, PharmD to the CCRstudies team.  Lisa is a clinical pharmacist, yogi, and also works in medication management services.

Lisa will lend her vast knowledge of pharmaceuticals, skills and expertise to the studies we conduct here.  She is a familiar face to many in the region as the owner of Zen and Now Wellness Studio in Niantic where she also teaches.  She also works as a Clinical Pharmacist at Simply Pharmacy in Waterford.  Lisa is highly motivated and is involved in the community through a variety of endeavors.  We are truly excited to collaborate with Lisa on her highly popular “Ask a Pharmacist” events.  Welcome Lisa! Namaste.

Birth Control Research

Monday, July 10th, 2017

There are a myriad of options for women in the United States regarding contraceptive choices.  There are birth control pills, birth control implants, hormonal IUD’s, non-hormonal IUD’s, vaginal rings, contraceptive foams, condoms, barrier methods, and for some, natural family planning, often called “the rhythm method.”

We’ve come a long way since crocodile dung was used as a barrier method to block sperm during Cleopatra’s time!

At Coastal Connecticut Research in New London some of our research studies have tested investigational products for birth control.  Sponsors of these studies understand some women are looking for choices in regards to family planning.   Just as every woman in different, choices in pregnancy prevention will differ as well.

If you are a woman of child bearing age who is not interested in currently starting a family, and you would like to learn more about birth control clinical research studies, contact our team today at (860) 443-4567 or email marylou@ccrstudies.com.

Welcome Kelley!

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

We would like to warmly welcome Kelley Sanok RN to the CCRstudies.team!

In her new role,  Kelley will serve our site as a Clinical Research Coordinator and Financial Coordinator.  Prior to becoming an RN, Kelley worked as a Study Director and Scientist for Pfizer.  Her role at Pfizer involved performing preclinical laboratory testing, protocol and standard operating procedures development and quality assurance audits.  Her nursing roles have involved serving as a home care nurse case manager,  and primary care nurse, playing an important role in the treatment of patients. She holds two Bachelor of Science Degrees from the University of Connecticut with majors in Nursing and Allied Health.

Kelley is a Ledyard, Connecticut native and resides with her family in Stonington.

February 2017

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

It’s February – so much to look forward to!

Will the Groundhog see his shadow? What will your sweetheart get you for Valentine’s Day?  Will you volunteer for a clinical research study?  Oh, the possibilities are limitless!

Coastal Connecticut Research in New London would like to hear from you!  Call us today at (860)443-4567 and speak to a member of the CCRstudies team.  We would be happy to share information with you regarding our currently enrolling clinical research studies. Detailed study information can be found on our website.  Men and women who wish to serve as a research volunteer are welcome to contact us to learn more.  Call (860)443-4567 or email marylou@ccrstudies.com.  There is no cost to participate in a research study, no cost for study-related care, and no cost for the study product.

 

Tis the Season of Giving!

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

Tis the season for holiday cheer, shopping, and for some, stress, tension, and overexertion.  It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but the holidays can leave many people feeling somewhat depleted.  It’s also a time of year when many people face what is referred to as “donor fatigue.”  A variety of charities and other wonderful causes quite often bombard individuals with requests for support.  Giving is a wonderful thing, but sometimes these requests for support can be overwhelming to say the least at a time of year when many individuals might feel cash strapped.

Did you know there is a way to give back that doesn’t involved you writing a check?  Have you ever considered becoming a research volunteer?  Research volunteers are individuals who devote their time to medical research.  Clinical research can involve testing an investigational medication, an investigational device, or perhaps a new formulation of an FDA-approved medication.  During some studies, an already FDA-approved medication is being further evaluated.  What these studies have in common is the need for people to step forward and participate. Other studies might be observational, involving no medication at all.  Breakthroughs and discoveries can be made thanks to the selflessness of people who participate in research.

There is no cost to participate in a clinical research study and no insurance is needed. Reimbursement is available for time and travel.  Study-related labs, exams and testing are provided at no cost.

If you have decided you would like to give of yourself this holiday season and in the new year, please consider becoming a research volunteer.  Call (860)443-4567 or email marylou@ccrstudies.com.

Free Memory Testing

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

This past fall, Coastal Connecticut Research has provided over 40 free memory screenings as a service to the community.  We are an associate member of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America and the screenings are part of the National Memory Screening program.

Our memory screenings have taken place during our Mobile Memory Clinics held during health fair and community events, and we have conducted no cost memory screenings in our office on Montauk Avenue in New London as well.  Diane Palmer, RN, and Sarah Ballard, LPN, both Qualified Dementia Care Specialists, have administered the memory screenings.

We’ve often spoken with people who are eager to find out if they have any detectable memory loss, and have also met people who have said “I don’t want to know.”  Our memory screenings are not meant to diagnose individuals with a specific condition. Rather, they serve as an indicator if memory loss is detectable, the next step should be taken in regards to contacting your health care provider or meeting with a neurologist.  The sooner a treatment plan is created, the less stress this can place upon the individual, family members and ultimately caregivers as symptoms progress.

If you are interested in learning more about our free memory screenings, or if you are interested in learning more regarding memory loss research currently underway in New London, call (860)443-4567.

Observational Alzheimer’s Study

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

Volunteers are needed for an exploratory, observational clinical study for memory loss in New London.  The study is looking to see if having markers for dementia, such as brain wave patterns, blood, and cognition will help diagnose and monitor Alzheimer’s Disease more easily and earlier in the future.  Coastal Connecticut Research is seeking individuals in the early stages of memory loss to participate in this clinical research trial.

If you or someone you know living with dementia is under the age of 90, you may be eligible to participate in this clinical research study.  Neurologist Dr. Laurence Radin is the study doctor.  The study team is comprised of highly trained nurses and Qualified Dementia Care Specialists.

Study tests are non-invasive.  All study-related labs, exams and testing are provided at no cost.  No insurance is required. Reimbursement is available for time and travel.  If you have questions or interest in this study, contact a member of the CCRstudies team at (860)443-4567 or email marylou@ccrstudies.com.

Spring into Research!

Monday, April 25th, 2016

April is winding down, and May is approaching – a typically gorgeous month here in New England with vibrant flowers, plentiful celebrations (Mother’s Day, college graduations, Memorial Day).  If you a feeling an extra spring in your step thanks to the vernal equinox, perhaps you would like to learn more about becoming a clinical research volunteer.

Clinical research volunteers are people just like you – they come from all walks of life and socio-economic backgrounds. What clinical research volunteers have in common is the desire to help others by participating in research.   Volunteers are people who wish to share either their time, their talent or their treasure.  Research volunteers  give of themselves to help advance discoveries in medicine.  Typically a clinical trial involves testing an investigational medication (not yet approved by the FDA), or tests an investigational device.  Observational trials do not involve testing a medication.

Volunteers will receive study-related exams and testing at no cost and study-related product at no cost. No insurance is needed to participate in a research trial and reimbursement may be offered for time and travel.  At the request of the volunteer, results can be forwarded to your primary care physician or specialist.

If you would like to spring into research and learn more about how you can help others and advance medicine through volunteering, contact CCRstudies today at (860)443-4567.