Posted by: Liza | 2009-07-07

Bipolar research study

My psychiatrist asked me whether I wanted to take part in a research study. This isn' t drug trials though. It involves stuff like MRI Scans, a certain type of CBT (I didn' t know there are different types!) and other medical tests. I' m excited about taking part but I am very scared of needles. I' m also only seeing my psychiatrist on the 22nd again. Do you know of any new bipolar studies at UCT and what it entails?

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Our expert says:
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I'd guess the scans and tests are for assessment, and would apply to everyone. YOur psych should be specific ( he should have the protocol in writing, actually ) about the details including WHAT tests would be done. Usually proper research would compare one treatment ( like the CBT ehre ) with another, perhaps another variety of counselling. It can be a good way to get some free therapy ! Unles one is on Lithium and needing occasional blood tests of lithium levels, I can't off-hand think of blood tests that would be interesting in such a trial.
Maybe you should ask for some free treatments for needle phobia, before the main trial starts ! ?
I haven't heard of this specific trial, it's uncommon for there to be funding available for the major trials of CBT we need, in this country --- maybe they're wanting to compare it with some form of medication ?
Anyhow, they MUST provide you with more information, explanation and a discussion of any questions you have, before signing you up --- that's an absolutel requirement for the informed consent they would have to have

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