Blog Archives - Page 2 of 5 - AZ Clinical Trials

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December 31, 2021 Clinical ResearchCOVID-190

It’s hard to believe that we were glued to our television sets two years ago, watching the growing impact of the virus we know as COVID-19. With a second virus variation on the rise, the fight to end COVID-19 endures. Arizona Clinical Trials intends to see it through like the numerous other entities that have joined forces. Until then, we are still your COVID-19 resource center.

COVID-19 by the Numbers

  • More than 277 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 5 million associated deaths globally.
  • The United States has had more than 51 million confirmed cases and over 812,000 associated deaths.
  • More than 70 percent of U.S. adults are fully vaccinated with vaccines available to ages 5 and up and boosters for ages 16 and older.

What’s New

  • On December 16th, the CDC made the recommendation that individuals still needing vaccination should avoid the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. This was in response to a small blood clot risk which has hospitalized 54 people and taken the lives of 9.
  • Researchers found the Omicron variant grows 70 times faster than the delta one in the bronchial tubes.
  • Officials are still uncertain how many boosters are necessary to effectively fight the virus.
  • Data shows deaths from COVID-19 in 2021 surpassed deaths in 2020.
  • Vaccine mandates prevail in some areas and meet stiff opposition in others in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. For example, a federal judge blocked a vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, while the U.S Navy says that sailors forgoing the vaccine would face discharge starting in 2022.

Your Resource Center for COVID-19

It's back and it's stronger. Help your community today

Though the progress remains steady, we still need your help in the fight to end COVID-19. Arizona Clinical Trials is still offering:

  • FREE screenings for COVID-19 for those who are experiencing symptoms.
  • Potential enrollment into COVID-19 prevention and treatment trials for healthy individuals or those with symptoms of the virus. (Participants must meet all eligibility criteria)

To learn more, call us at (480) 360-4000 or visit our website today!

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/covid-19-updates#12/2/21-3:09-p.m.-PST-Biden-announces-new-COVID-19-strategy

https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/what-you-need-know-about-coronavirus-right-now-2021-03-02/


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December 14, 2021 Clinical ResearchPCOS0

The prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition that encompasses excess fat accumulation, inflammation, and liver scarring, is on the rise. Multiple factors go into developing NAFLD, and it has been linked to several other conditions. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the conditions that share a link with fatty liver disease. If you have PCOS, you need to read this.

PCOS Signs and Symptoms

PCOS is a hormone disorder affecting 1 in 10 women of childbearing age.  Although the cause of PCOS is not known, health experts believe that PCOS may be due to different factors working together. These factors include insulin resistance, increased levels of hormones called androgens, and an irregular menstrual cycle. Common symptoms involve:

  • Menstrual disorders can include absent periods, periods that infrequently occur or too frequently, heavy periods, or unpredictable periods
  • Infertility
  • Obesity
  • Excess hair growth on the face, chest, abdomen, or upper thighs
  • Severe acne or acne that occurs after adolescence and does not respond to usual treatments
  • Multiple tiny fluid-filled sacs in the ovaries

Shared Risk Factors and Androgens

PCOS causes symptoms that are also factors we know to increase the chances of NAFLD. NAFLD can progress into the NASH stage, a more severe form of fatty liver disease. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the stage of liver disease where chronic liver inflammation begins to damage and scar it-eventually affecting its functions.

NAFLD and NASH are both linked to obesity

Insulin resistance and obesity are both triggers for excess fat accumulation in the liver. In addition, prolonged exposure to high androgen levels may add to the problem. Androgens are typically referred to as male hormones and play a role in women’s health at lower levels. Growing research evidence shows, and without treatment, prolonged exposure to high androgen levels can lead to serious health consequences, such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Higher risk of liver inflammation and scarring
  • Increased risk for liver cancer and liver failure without transplant

With so many potential factors working together, it’s no wonder that having PCOS doubles your chances of liver disease.

While fatty liver disease is serious, it’s possible to reverse and prevent it with diet and lifestyle changes. Eating a sensible, well-balanced diet and exercising regularly will help keep your liver healthy. Along with regular monitoring, healthier lifestyle changes help not only prevent liver disease but those already diagnosed with it.

There are no FDA-approved treatments for NASH; however, potential new options are under investigation in clinical research studies. To learn more about enrolling NASH studies here at Arizona Liver Health, call us at (480) 470-4000, or visit our website today!

Sources:

https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/menstrual-abnormalities/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos

https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/polycystic-ovary-syndrome

https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos


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November 29, 2021 Clinical ResearchNAFLD0

In the medical world, we are always trying to find new ways to treat all kinds of conditions. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, is a condition that we are constantly learning more about, especially in the work of clinical research. NAFLD has emerged as the most prominent cause of chronic liver disease. So what’s new in NAFLD research? Let’s find out!

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!

NAFLD researchers are urging the public to take care of themselves by declaring NAFLD as a public health priority. They are realizing that the general public does not possess proper knowledge of NAFLD and they desire to change that. At the Digital NAFLD Summit 2021, researchers developed a final set of 37 consensus statements and 26 recommendations. The statements addressed a broad range of topics relevant to policymakers, practitioners, civil society groups, researchers, and affected populations. They hope that these recommendations can bring major change to NAFLD basic knowledge and prevention.

30% of adults have fatty liver

Who Has a Higher Risk of Getting NAFLD?

Anyone can develop NAFLD. Unfortunately, we don’t know everything about this condition. However, clinical research has provided a lot of information about who can get it or what causes fatty liver. We do know that it is more common for people that have the following factors:

  • Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes
  • Obesity
  • Middle-aged or older
  • Hispanic
  • High levels of fats in the blood
  • High blood pressure
  • Take certain drugs
  • Have certain metabolic disorders
  • Experienced rapid weight loss
  • Have certain infections, such as hepatitis C
  • Were exposed to toxins

NAFLD Treatment and Prevention

There is no medication or vaccine approved by the FDA to treat NAFLD. Fortunately, there are ways in which you can reduce or prevent fatty liver. Common suggestions from physicians include:

  • Losing weight
  • Get regular exercise
  • Eating a healthy diet that reduces salt and sugar intake
  • Get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B, the flu, and pneumococcal disease

NAFLD clinical research is so crucial today. We need clinical trials to develop treatments for NAFLD and you can help us. Participate in clinical trials to help the advancement in medicine for NAFLD. You can sign up for our current or upcoming studies by calling us at (480) 360-4000 or visiting our website.

Sources:

https://www.healio.com/news/hepatology/20210924/six-recent-reports-from-the-digital-nafld-summit-2021

https://www.healio.com/news/hepatology/20210917/researchers-deem-nafld-a-public-health-priority

https://easl.eu/press-release/treatment-advances-for-non-alcoholic-fatty-liver-disease-nafld-announced-at-ilc-2021/

https://atriumhealth.org/about-us/newsroom/news/2021/04/groundbreaking-clinical-trials-for-patients-with-nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease

https://medlineplus.gov/fattyliverdisease.html


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We are a little over a month away from the first anniversary of when the first COVID-19 vaccine dose was given. Over 15 million fully vaccinated Americans later, a lot has taken place in these last 11 months. Here’s the recap from vaccines to boosters in the fight to end COVID-19.

Vaccines, Efficacy, and Age Groups

In the U.S., there are three vaccines currently in circulation. Several others are still under evaluation in clinical trials. Let’s look at the latest efficacy reports and which age groups are approved to take them:

  • Pfizer- BioNTech : 2 doses, 21 days apart.
    • Approval Status: FDA approved in August 2021 for ages 16 and up. Emergency use authorization (EUA) for ages 5-15
    • Effectiveness: Full effectiveness 2 weeks after 2nd 91% effective at preventing COVID-19, and 89% effective in preventing severe disease.
    • Approved ages: Children and adults 5 and older
  • Moderna: 2 doses, 28 days apart.
    • Approval Status: Under EUA since December 2020.
    • Effectiveness: Full effectiveness 2 weeks after 2nd 94% effective at preventing COVID-19, and 90% effective in preventing severe disease.
    • Approved ages: Adults 18 and older.
  • Johnson & Johnson: Single dose.
    • Approval Status: Under EUA since February 2021.
    • Effectiveness: Full effectiveness 2 weeks after single dose. 66% effective at preventing COVID-19, and 85% effective in preventing severe disease.
    • Approved ages: Adults 18 and older.

Boosters

Being vaccinated is still possibly the most important way we can get past the COVID-19 pandemic. As more time passes, we continue to learn more about whether or not booster doses would be beneficial. It’s important to mention, boosters are not a new idea and do not mean anything is wrong with the vaccine. If vaccine immunity wanes after some time, a booster helps prolong protection. Several routine immunizations require booster doses, these include chickenpox, tetanus, diphtheria, and mumps.

The CDC recommends a booster dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine 6 months after the last dose for people 65 and up. In addition, it covers residents of long-term care settings, people 18 to 64 with underlying medical conditions, and those whose work may put them at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19. People with certain immunocompromising conditions can get a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines two months after completing their 2nd dose. CDC interim guidelines recommend moderately and severely immunocompromised people who received one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine get a second dose of either an mRNA or J&J vaccine at least two months after their initial shot.

Help Us End COVID-19

Take care of yourself and others

The fight to end COVID-19 is still ongoing. Here at Arizona Liver Health, we are looking for individuals to join COVID-19 studies looking into potential new options. We offer FREE COVID-19 testing and provide other study opportunities for healthy individuals and those diagnosed with COVID-19. Call us today to learn more at (480) 360-4000, or visit our website.

Sources:

https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/covid-19-vaccine-comparison


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Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) can develop when your liver can no longer remove toxic substances from your blood. The toxins build up and can travel through your body until they eventually reach your brain. This causes mental and physical symptoms of HE.

Why Does HE Develop?

Hepatic encephalopathy is a nervous system disorder brought on by severe liver disease. When the liver doesn’t work properly, toxins build up in the blood.  HE is a complication of cirrhosis– a severe form of liver disease. Common types of chronic liver disease can lead to liver scarring or even liver failure. These include:

  • Alcohol-related liver disease
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), or too much fat in liver cells
  • Inflammation of the liver (such as hepatitis A, B, or C)
  • Liver cancer

Living with untreated liver disease for a long time can lead to cirrhosis. Cirrhosis occurs when scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue. As cirrhosis becomes worse, the liver has less healthy tissue. A healthy liver is essential in helping your body process food and nutrients into energy. It is also vital for removing harmful toxins. Over time, the liver becomes so damaged, it can no longer remove toxins from the blood. HE symptoms are broken down into four grades of severity:

  • Grade 1:
    • Lack of awareness
    • Euphoria or anxiety
    • Shortened attention span
    • Difficulty with addition or subtraction
    • Altered sleep patterns
  • Grade 2:
    • Lack of energy or interest
    • Confused sense of date and time
    • Obvious personality change
    • Inappropriate behavior
    • Uncoordinated movements
    • Tremor or flapping of the wrists
  • Grade 3:
    • Sleepiness or stupor
    • Responds to stimuli
    • Confused sense of place, where one is
    • Extreme disorientation
  • Grade 4:
    • Complete unresponsiveness (hepatic coma)

Treatments

Treatments can rid the body of toxins and reverse this temporary condition. These are aimed at lowering the level of ammonia and other toxins in your blood. These toxins initially arise in your gastrointestinal or GI system. Hence, therapies are focused on your gut to eliminate or reduce the production of toxins.

Arizona Liver Health conducts free fibroscans that can detect liver diseases, such as NAFLD and NASH. A fibroscan done early enough can help you avoid complications from untreated liver disease such as HE. Once results are ready, our medical staff will help you determine if additional steps are needed. If your results indicate abnormal liver function, our team will discuss enrolling studies for the liver that may be an option. Schedule your FREE fibroscan today! Request an appointment here or call us at (480) 470-4000.

Sources:

https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/about-the-liver/diseases-of-the-liver/hepatic-encephalopathy/treating-hepatic-encephalopathy/

https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/hepatic-encephalopathy/

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21220-hepatic-encephalopathy


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The liver is one of the most vital organs in our bodies. It is impossible to survive without the life-sustaining functions it provides. Understandably, how well we take care of our liver impacts its ability to function properly. National Liver Awareness Month is an annual designation occurring in October to create awareness around liver health. By giving it the attention it deserves, we can stay healthy for as long as possible.

Why the Liver is Important

The liver is the second largest organ in your body and is located right under your rib cage on your right side. Your liver processes what you consume and breaks it down into nutrients your body uses. It also:

  • Cleans your blood of toxins
  • Gives you energy
  • Produces bile for digestion

Causes of Liver Disease

There are over 100 different diseases that can damage the liver. Nevertheless, most damage the liver in similar ways and follow the same progression. The common causes of liver disease include:

  • Viruses
  • Genetics
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Excessive abuse of alcohol
  • Unhealthy diet and obesity
  • Medication side effects, illegal drugs, or toxic chemicals

National Liver Awareness Month

Liver disease affects from 50 million to 100 million individuals globally. Numerous diseases pose an increasing concern, such as liver cancer, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and hepatitis. Liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in America. Despite the growing prevalence, there is hope. With early detection and treatment, the progression can be stopped or reversed. Those at risk of developing liver disease can also potentially prevent its onset.

An estimated 30 million Americans suffer from NASH

 Start taking care of your liver today. You can celebrate National Liver Awareness Month by taking some simple steps towards liver health, such as:

  • Work towards achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Eat healthier by avoiding high-calorie meals, refined carbohydrates like white bread/enriched flour, and eat a good amount of fiber.
  • Exercise regularly up to 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Use alcohol responsibly.
  • Avoid using drugs.
  • Follow prescribed directions on all your medications.
  • Get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B.

The liver pulls its weight, it's time you pulled yours.

Are you concerned about your risk of liver disease? Arizona Liver Health can help! We offer FREE liver scans using fibroscan technology for adults at risk of developing liver disease. A fibroscan is a quick, painless way to determine liver health. Individuals whose results indicate the presence of liver disease will also have an option to learn more about our enrolling liver research studies. Schedule your appointment today! Call us at (480) 470-4000, or visit our website for more details and online request form.

Sources:

https://nationaltoday.com/national-liver-awareness-month/

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-liver-awareness-month-october/

https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/about-the-liver/the-progression-of-liver-disease/


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September 29, 2021 Cirrhosisfibroscan0

Cirrhosis of the liver is a progressive disease, developing slowly over many years. If allowed to continue, the buildup of scar tissue can eventually stop liver function. Because of the gradual decline, liver cirrhosis often goes undetected and unnoticed. You can potentially catch cirrhosis from the start by knowing the signs and your risk for liver disease.

The Silent Organ

The liver is known as a silent organ because when symptoms of liver disease become apparent, it is typically in the later stages of the disease. If you’re at increased risk of liver disease, you can work with your doctor for annual screenings and lifestyle changes to protect your liver. Risk factors include:

  • Chronic alcohol abuse
  • Chronic viral hepatitis (hepatitis B, C, and D)
  • Fat accumulating in the liver (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease)
  • Being overweight
  • Insulin resistance
  • Family history

Signs of Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is a late stage of scarring (fibrosis) of the liver caused by many forms of liver diseases and conditions. Each time your liver is injured, it tries to repair itself. This process causes the formation of scar tissue. As cirrhosis progresses, more scar tissue forms, eventually making it difficult for the liver to function (decompensated cirrhosis).

cirrhosis may cause loss of appetite

While the damage done by cirrhosis generally can’t be undone, if diagnosed early and the cause is treated, further damage can be limited and, rarely, reversed. As scar tissue accumulates, the ability of the liver to function properly is affected. The following signs and symptoms may occur:

  • Blood capillaries become visible on the skin on the upper abdomen.
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Itchy skin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Pain or tenderness in the area where the liver is located
  • Red or blotchy palms
  • Weakness

If you’re looking to get your liver health back on track, Arizona Liver Health can help. After all, liver health is in our name. We offer FREE fibroscans for adults at risk of liver disease to test for liver fat and fibrosis, which may lead to cirrhosis and liver failure. We also provide an opportunity to participate in one of our enrolling clinical trials to help advance the treatment of liver diseases for those with liver disease. To learn more, call us at 480-470-4000, or visit us online today!

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/understanding-cirrhosis-basic-information

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/172295#treatment

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cirrhosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351487

 

 


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September 15, 2021 Clinical ResearchCOVID-190

COVID-19 has affected the lives of millions of people around the world since late 2019. You can also be asymptomatic, meaning you have no symptoms but still are carrying the virus. With this in mind, a lot of people have been asking themselves if they have already had the virus because some of the symptoms are similar to the common cold. We’ve come up with a list of signs and symptoms that could indicate whether you may have already had COVID-19 without realizing it.

Symptoms of COVID-19

Unfortunately, there’s no way to be 100% certain whether the bad cold you developed last season was COVID-19, but here are some possible signs that you may have already had coronavirus.

  • Cough – Do you have a cough that won’t go away? The CDC reported over 40% of people experienced a dry cough for weeks after having COVID.
  • Fatigue – Fatigue is one of the biggest lingering effects after COVID-19.
  • New loss of taste or smell – Loss of taste or smell is a hallmark symptom of COVID. While it’s possible to experience this with other respiratory illnesses, If you experienced this at any point, you may have had COVID-19.
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing – Lasting inflammation in the lungs can be cause for shortness of breath or trouble breathing.
  • Other symptoms that are all associated with COVID-19 include body aches, stuffy nose or runny nose, fever or chills, headache, and sore throat.

Testing for COVID-19

In addition to knowing the symptoms of COVID-19, you should know the various tests available for the virus. There are two forms of testing for COVID-19: a viral test or an antibody test. The viral test shows if you currently are carrying the virus. The antibody test shows any past exposure to COVID-19. An antibody test is not recommended to assess immunity after a COVID-19 vaccination. Click here to learn more about testing for COVID-19 and to find out where you can get tested at a testing site near you.


Please note that just because you may have had these symptoms, does not mean you had COVID-19. The only sure way of knowing is by undergoing testing specifically for the COVID-19 virus. If you believe you might have COVID-19, FREE testing is available at Arizona Clinical Trials. If you know that you have COVID-19, consider looking into clinical trials that may be an option.

Clinical trials are important for the future of overcoming COVID-19. Participating in a COVID-19 clinical allows you to be a part of history. Helping evaluate future treatments for COVID-19 is vital to improving the lives of those living with this virus. Are you interested in COVID-19 clinical trials or getting a free COVID-19 test? Learn more by clicking here.

Sources:
https://www.healthline.com/health/sure-signs-you-ve-already-had-covid#signs


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Cirrhosis is when the permanent scarring of the liver has replaced the healthy tissue. While cirrhosis is most often associated with chronic alcohol consumption, it is brought about by many types of liver disease. Here’s how you get from liver disease to cirrhosis.

Inflammation to Fibrosis

When you have liver disease, the liver enters into a perilous cycle to heal itself. The immune system sends the signal to repair cells triggering chronic inflammation and to continue depositing collagen. In a healthy liver, the collagen stiffens around the tissue, and any extra is discarded. However, with liver disease, there is no signal to stop the inflammation discarding the excess collagen. So, the inflammation and more deposits of collagen continues. This leads to more liver stiffening and the development of fibrosis.

Fibrosis is when collagen and other proteins build up between the cells. This forms scar tissue which can block or limit blood flow within the liver, eventually starving and killing healthy liver cells. More scar tissue forms, and unlike healthy liver cells, it cannot function or repair itself.

Fibrosis to Cirrhosis

While fibrosis is reversible even into the later stages of liver disease, there is a point where the damage is too significant, and the liver can’t fix itself. No treatment can cure cirrhosis; by staying away from things that could harm your liver further, like liquor, certain drugs, and fatty food, you can help improve some of the scarrings. Treatment for individuals with cirrhosis includes managing its symptoms and treating the underlying cause to prevent liver function from worsening or liver failure. Those with cirrhosis have a high risk of developing liver cancer and eventually needing a transplant.

Our livers are versatile, continuing to work even when they’ve become seriously scarred. Most individuals with liver disease do not know it until routine blood work picks it up or symptoms become present in the later stages. Talk with your doctor about preventative measures you can take if you’re at risk of liver disease.

Regular liver checks are important for those at high risk of liver disease.

Arizona Liver Health offers FREE fibroscans for adults at risk of liver disease. A fibroscan is a quick way to determine the health of your liver and the presence of liver disease. Should your results indicate fatty liver or other liver conditions, our staff will talk with you about enrolling studies that may be an option. To learn more, call us at (480) 470-4000, or fill out a request form online today!

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/understanding-cirrhosis-basic-information

https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/about-the-liver/the-progression-of-liver-disease/#cirrhosis-severe-scarring



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2152 S Vineyard Ave Ste 123
Mesa, AZ 85210
480-360-4000


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Call us to see if you or your patient qualify for a clinical trial.