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Participants Sought for Behavioral Studies

New Britain [November 03 2006] - The Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Research Center at The Hospital of Central Connecticut is currently seeking participants for two different clinical research studies.
One study is looking at an investigational treatment regimen for Bipolar Mania (called manic episodes). About 5.7 million American adults or about 2.6 percent of the population age 18 and older in any given year, have bipolar disorder, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Bipolar disorder causes dramatic mood swings — from overly “high” and/or irritable to sad and hopeless, and then back again, often with periods of normal mood in between. These mood changes are accompanied by severe changes in energy and behavior. The periods of highs and lows are called episodes of mania and depression. Signs and symptoms of manic episodes include increased energy, activity, restlessness, excessively euphoric mood, extreme irritability, talking very fast, racing thoughts, and decreased need for sleep.
A second study concerns Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental illnesses in the U.S., affecting 40 million people, or 18 percent, of the adult population. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, individuals with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), worry excessively, often experiencing physical tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke their worries. They “fear the worst” and are overly concerned about health issues, money, family problems, or difficulties at work. Their worries are accompanied by physical symptoms, especially fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches, difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, and hot flashes.
If you or a family member are currently experiencing the signs and symptoms of Bipolar Mania or Generalized Anxiety Disorder, you may be eligible to participate in one of these studies. Eligibility criteria vary, but participants should be between the ages of 18 and 65, and in generally good health.
The goal of both studies is to determine the efficacy of different medication regimens for the treatment of these disorders. Participants will receive a complete physical and full blood work-up, various therapies and possibly new medications, all at no cost.
One benefit of participating in clinical research is that participants may try new medications and/or treatments before they are made available to the general public. In addition, research staff function as an extended support system for participants by listening, educating, and providing resources along the way. Study participants also have the opportunity to contribute to the development of treatments for their conditions that may help others in the future.
In addition to receiving treatment at no cost, participants are reimbursed for their time, meals, and transportation. The principal investigator for both studies, Michael Balkunas, MD, chief of psychiatry at The Hospital of Central Connecticut, has been treating patients with Bipolar Mania and Generalized Anxiety Disorder symptoms for more than 10 years. For more information, please call Alison Oville, psychiatry research manager, at 860-224-5597.

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