181 — The number of open clinical trials with a known status on http://clinicaltrials.gov with the word “dysphagia” in the study (as of 4/9/2013). We receive inquires periodically about what’s in the medical treatment pipeline for swallowing disorder treatment. If one were interested in all dysphagia clinical trials in this valuable source of medical information the number jumps to 757.
Here’s a quick test. Who is your best medical advocate? Some may say one’s physician or physical therapist. We’d argue that your best medical advocate is yourself (or, if you are incapacitated, a loved one or family member).
ClinicalTrials.gov is a rich source of information. By narrowing the search criteria, it’s quick to focus on a manageable size of trials which may fit you situaltion. For example, if one were interested in clinical trials with the words “dysphagia” and “stoke” in the trial (which are open and of known status), the number is 14. By the way, all 14 are currently recruiting patients.
Later stage trials (known as phase III) are generally looking to recruit hundreds (if not thousands of patients) and can be administered at medical institutions world-wide. The implication being that a trial may be available within a reasonable distance to your home. Many trials offer to pay for treatment. Some even allow for some limited travel and housing expenses reimbursement.
We’re not advocating that a clinical trial is right for you as each patient is different. But we are advocating that each patient advocate for themselves. If you find a clinical trial (or trials) that appears to fit your needs, we suggest discussing it with your physician or medical team.