Did you know that the first clinical trial was carried out by James Lind in 1747? The results of his trial showed that eating citrus fruits, like oranges and lemons, stopped sailors getting scurvy on long journeys out at sea. Scurvy isn’t very nice, it makes your gums bleed and get swollen so you can imagine how happy the sailors were when they found out that an orange a day kept the scurvy away!
You might also recognise the name James Lind from the list of the top 10 cleft research questions that patients, parents and clinicians developed with the James Lind Alliance – you can find out the priorities here.
The Cleft Collective Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Manchester has been funded by the Healing Foundation to help answer questions on treatments for cleft like, does a treatment work, is it better than another treatment and is it safe to use?
To answer these questions researchers might run a clinical trial and often ask patients and their parents to take part. However, that’s just one way that you can be involved in clinical trials.
The Cleft Collective at Manchester want to make sure that in the clinical trials they run patients and their parents are involved in things like the design of the trial, how good the patient information is and how the results are fed back to patients.
But let’s not forget about James Lind, each year around the 20th May the work of James Lind is celebrated as part of International Clinical Trials Day. This year the theme is “OK to ask” and you might have questions that you want to ask about clinical research.
You can find out more about the work of the Cleft Collective on their website, and there is also a discussion board where you can post your questions.