What is a clinical trial?
Who can participate in a clinical trial?
How does a clinical trial work?
What questions should be asked before choosing to participate?
What is informed consent?
What are the benefits and risks of participating in a trial?
What are some of the major central nervous system disorders studied in clinical trials?


In a clinical trial, a volunteer is usually assigned to a specific study group. Volunteers in one study group may receive an investigational treatment or study drug while other volunteers may receive a placebo or a treatment already available.

A placebo is an inactive product used to assess the experimental treatment’s effectiveness. The participant, physician and research staff may not know which volunteer receives a placebo and which receives the active treatment. Not knowing which participants are receiving the active treatment allows the physician and research staff to objectively observe the volunteer during the study. Regardless of which treatment is received, however, the level of medical attention and respect that each participant receives is the same.