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As a parent, you may have heard of these diseases. One thing that they all have in common is that they are treatable or preventable today thanks to clinical research. Advances in these illnesses and many other diseases are possible because of parents in the past deciding to allow their children to be in a clinical trial. But what about illnesses of today and future generations?
The Role of Healthy Children at the NIH Clinical Center
Researchers want to find ways to help children live longer, healthier lives. In addition to children who have a particular disease, researchers often need help from healthy children—those who do not currently have the disease or illness being studied. Healthy children provide researchers with crucial data because their health information can be used as a comparison. In this way, researchers can learn more about a disease such as the way it progresses, how to treat it, and appropriate dosages for treatment. There are many different ways that children can help, depending on what research the doctors are conducting. As a parent, you can talk to your child and decide whether joining a clinical trial at the NIH Clinical Center is right for them.
Consider joining us in our effort by learning more about clinical trials for healthy children at the NIH Clinical Center. This website provides several resources to help determine if volunteering in a clinical trial is right for your child. For more specific information on the role of children in clinical research, visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Children & Clinical Studies website at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/childrenandclinicalstudies.
How Children Can Help Advance Medical Knowledge
Children participate in clinical research for many reasons—some to help themselves, some to help others, and some just want to be involved in engaging and exciting new research. Regardless of their primary reason for joining clinical trials, the result is clear—by participating in clinical research, children can help:
- Learn more about diseases and ways to prevent them
- Find out how research is conducted with children as Healthy Volunteers
- Understand the differences in children as they grow
- Help others—young and old—in the future
- Enhance their lives and become healthier adults
Read about the experience of kids in research and the impact they have in the Winter 2012 issue of NIH MedlinePlus.
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