Dr. Volk from Apostle Clinical Trials explains clinical trials and Anne Robbin talks peer to peer success with MHSA funds in Butte County!

Dr. Stephen Volk from Apostle Clinical Trials joins us to discuss clinical trials, why they are needed and how they can help! In the Proposition 63 Mental Health Services Action segment with Jennifer Whitney, Anne Robbin, Butte County Behavioral Health Director joins Jennifer to talk about the impact of MHSA funding in Butte County, and in particularly, a Peer to Peer program that is very successful!

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Coming up in this weeks show:

  • Dr. Steven Volk of Apostle Clinical Trials in Long Beach, CA

Segment 1

  • Mourn the death of mental health advocate Mike Wallace,93 (60 minutes)
  • Mike Wallace tried to commit suicide in 80s from depression, then sought therapy, talked to right therapist/specialist, medication, and talk therapy
  • He believed that the medication and talking to the right therapist helped to save his life
  • 17 million suffer at one time or another from depression. Its important to seek out the right help
  • Even though he had problems, he was able to show that anyone can suffer from this, biological problem. Anyone can get through it though.
  • Its more than just taking a pill. It is a combination of how the environment and your past are impacting you
  • Background of Dr. Steven Volk: older brother has severe autism (violent behavior, self mutilating behavior, can not communicate, prone to outbursts). Medication in 70s had extreme side effects (Parkinson’s, tremor, state of comatose, sedation). Through his experiences, he became interested in the effects of medication and if there could be better treatments
  • Medications have come a long way.
  • There are some motor side effects, sedated, weight gain in new medication, so sometimes people discontinue use. Apostle Clinical Trial tries to find medications with positive symptoms and eliminate bad side effects
  • What is a clinical trial?

Segment 2

  • What is a clinical trial? A test under the most controlled conditions that are practical to answer a question. Does the medication works with what it is supposed to help? Schizophrenia control outbursts? Does it make them go away with any negative effects? They record negative and positive side effects
  • The big issue with FDA is, is the protocol safe? Is the dosage well within the margin of safety?
  • People come into studies for compensation, and also come in for better treatment or because they know they will be treated by a physician every week, when maybe they can not afford to get the medication they need on their own
  • Take on trials that have to have extension trials
  • Drug companies are offering longer-term studies. A year, 2 years, Up to indefinite study
  • Real goal is to find out if the drug works
  • If you do benefit from the drug, you can possibly continue on with an extension study
  • If you don’t benefit, you may get worse. And they want to know your side effects so they can help
  • Most trials deal with schizophrenia (80% of studies), then bipolar disorder, migraine, arthritis, pain indications, depression
  • Manic portion of disorder:
  • Hypomania-subtle version of mania. Difficulty sleeping, abusing substances, arguments with boss, increased energy
  • Extreme Mania- Lose site with reality, delusions, aggressive, not sleeping
  • Pure euphoria-feel wonderful, lose touch with reality
  • What are benefits of trial? If your current treatment is not optimal, still having side effects or symptoms, consider trial. Will have access to latest treatments/medications.
  • You may not benefit from trial, but you will help others that are affected.
  • www.apostleclinicaltrials.com, located in Long Beach
  • Compensation for travel

Ann Robin of Butte County and Jennifer Whitney

  • Action Segment of Sacramento brought to you by Prop 63
  • Ann Robin, Behavioral Health Director
  • Just over 200,000 population in Butte County, small county
  • Issues because they are a small county. There is less help, so everyone is spread thin since there are the same requirements as bigger counties
  • 38 of its cities are behavioral health dept- alcohol and drug, substance abuse and mental health
  • Mental Health Department-doesn’t deal with substance abuse
  • Better service model to be able to work in both departments
  • Outpatient clinics in 5 cities, specialty programs for children services, adults and seniors
  • Children services- from 3 years old to 18. You can tell a child needs help by their behavioral challenges
  • Winning Innovations Network- saw need to provide some transitional care for people coming from an acute hospitalization
  • Winning Innovations Network is to study the effect of using specifically trained peers/family members to be that bridge program, to help people transition from acute crisis status back to community support
  • Success of this program-less repeat hospital visits, increase in people receiving follow up service
  • Ann wants to see Butte develop more and wants to survive the ups and downs of funding.

2 Responses to “Dr. Volk from Apostle Clinical Trials explains clinical trials and Anne Robbin talks peer to peer success with MHSA funds in Butte County!”

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    June 6, 2012 at 10:16 am #

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