“The Weekly Check-Up with Dr. Bruce Feinberg” recently featured the Atlanta Center for Medical Research (ACMR) on WSB-AM 750 and 95.5 FM. Clinical Rater Supervisor, Carrie Bednarz, and Intake Supervisor, Dmitri Iskhakov, sat down with host Dr. Feinberg on the August 13th show.
Founded in 1982 by Dr. Robert A. Riesenberg, ACMR is one of the largest independent clinical research centers in the country and draws participants from all over the Southeast. The 150,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, open-source research facility hosts trials for both pharmaceutical medicines and new medical devices.
Carrie Bednarz is a Clinical Rater Supervisor at ACMR. She monitors changes in behavior, sleep, concentration, appetite, and other mood constructs in a standardized way. This is known as rating. She has worked at ACMR for seven years. Dmitri Iskhakov is the Intake Supervisor at ACMR. He screens the participants and determines if they qualify for a specific study. He has worked at ACMR for the past eight years.
“At any given time you could have 60, 100 different trials. Give me a list of your top trials”, asked Dr. Feinberg. Dmitri answered by listing Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, and Postpartum Depression. Each medical condition may have several different studies. The study design may vary in terms of symptoms or presentation of the condition.
Dmitri then began to describe a specific participant’s experience. The participant was a 71-year-old male that had Parkinson’s disease. He could not hold a pen or write his name due to the tremors. His wife filled out his information. Dmitri and Dr. Riesenberg met with the participant and described a two-week in-patient study, they agreed on terms, and he enrolled in the study. During his last day in-patient, the participant called Dr. Riesenberg and said, “I can hold a pen, I can take notes, and I can sign my name.” Dmitri continued by saying, “It was truly incredible to see.”
ACMR currently has five open studies for Depression. One, in particular, focuses on Postpartum Depression (PPD). Carrie explained that the study duration is four days. Recently, Carrie had a participant in the study. The participant was in her late twenties, African American, and this was her first child. “She was struggling to meet the demands of being a new mother and had severe PPD,” stated Carrie. The participate came in for the study on Monday, stayed for four days, and after the four days reported no depression, normal appetite, and normal energy. She resumed a normal schedule of childcare and reported no depression after thirty days of completing the trial.
Dr. Feinberg resumed the show by stating that ACMR has out-patient trials in addition to in-patient trials. ACMR conducts a rigorous intake process to match the participant to the best clinical trial for his or her condition. Carrie explained that ACMR strives to make the experience less burdensome to the participant. For participants in a trial, ACMR provides transportation, participants are compensated for their time, meals are provided, and each participant has an individual private room. In addition to adult clinical trials, ACMR conducts pediatric clinical trials. ACMR currently has trials for pediatric Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, and ADHD.
The show closes with Carrie encouraging listeners to check out the website and to fill out the volunteer form with their information if they are interested in participating in a clinical research trial. Carrie continues by saying, “We really can’t do this without our participants. Clinical research is very important. It’s the only way that pharmaceutical medicine is going to advance and move forward.” If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial give us a call or fill out your information on our website.
You can listen to the full show on “The Weekly Check-Up with Dr. Bruce Feinberg” website.