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Corvallis Clinic Health Information Blog

Alzheimer’s Prevention Research

Jul 16, 02:02 PM

Clinical Research Center

The Clinical Research Center is currently participating in the Expedition 3 Study, a trial for those who have mild Alzheimer’s disease. The investigational drug solanezumab is being evaluated in this worldwide trial to see whether it helps slow the worsening of Alzheimer’s in patients who currently have mild disease. 

When we announced our research center would be involved in the solunezemab study and began advertising it on television, we were not surprised to receive lots of phone calls from community members who wanted to participate in an Alzheimer’s prevention study. However, Expedition 3 is not a prevention study, so we had to explain that to a lot of disappointed callers.

Interestingly, there is now a large prevention–focused study investigating the Alzheimer’s disease prevention possibilities of solanezumab, the same drug under investigation in Expedition 3.  The Alzheimer’s prevention study is called the A4 Study and participants between 65-86 years old with normal thinking and memory who may be at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease are being sought. The Research Center is not part of the A4 study. However, we would like to help get the word out about this exciting research. The A4 study began recruiting subjects in June, 2014.  You can read more about the A4 study, including the location of clinical trial sites, at www.a4study.org

We are pleased to know about the A4 study because the Research Center is about to launch a new advertising campaign for the Expedition 3 solanezumab study.  Our new campaign will include information about our study for those with mild Alzheimer’s disease in the preshow programs at two Corvallis movie theaters, the Carmike on Circle Boulevard and Regal Cinemas on Ninth Street. At least this time we can direct those callers interested in Alzheimer’s disease prevention to the A4 study!

If you are interested in learning more about the Expedition 3 Study, contact the Clinical Research Center at 541-766-2163 or send an email to research@corvallisclinic.com.

- Julie Carrico is Associate Coordinator of The Corvallis Clinic Clinical Research Center


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The Blender Blog

Jul 15, 03:37 PM


Recently a large portion of Oregon has experienced a climate of HOT HOT HOT!  For me this brings to mind using smoothies to beat the heat. Smoothies come in all types and flavors and can be consumed year around.  Basic varieties include fruit such as berries, bananas and oranges; ice cream and yogurt preparations, and others that are vegetable oriented.

Consider using cold refreshing mixes for when the weather is hot and the converse when the temperatures plummet. Potentially, smoothies can represent a meal that can become a treat in the middle of the day; even healthy blender concoctions can be made to taste like dessert, creating a win – win for mom and kids.  It is also a great way to salvage uneaten fruit before they over ripen.  Simply prepare the fruit as you would prior to eating, i.e. peel the banana, then seal tightly in a Ziploc bag and toss into the freezer for later use.  Now you have even an easier and healthier way to create a frozen drink because the fruit replaces ice cubes when blending! 

Blenderized soups can be easily made by using blanched, roasted or sautéed vegetables.  To make this, simply toss your vegetables into a blender.  Add some fresh herbs and spices and enough liquid, such as stock, to create the blended consistency you desire.  If a hot beverage or meal is desired, simply pour your creation into a glass mug, microwave and enjoy!  What a quick, healthy and tasty way to appreciate seasonal produce any time of the year.

Advantages of smoothies are that they can be a packed with nutrition, quick and easy to make and are a low cost portable meal that tastes great.  Depending on ingredients, they can be rich sources of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein.

Food choices are endless when making a blended drink or meal.  Here are a few ideas to get you started; then mix and match to your liking:

  • Berries - strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries
  • Fruits - peaches, mangos, bananas, apples, pears, cherries, coconut
  • Vegetables - spinach, cucumbers, kale, tomatoes, carrots
  • Dairy - skim milk, low fat ice cream or yogurt
  • Flavor enhancers - fresh mint, dark chocolate, vanilla, almond/soy milk, sorbet 

The fun in creating smoothies is that there are no rules.  Experiment with different combinations of ingredients until you find the ones you like. Get the kids involved and have a friendly competition as to who can make the most tasty and nutritious blenderized concoction!

Need more ideas?  Click here for 50 great smoothie recipes!


Until next time, here’s to healthy eating!

Lori Dodds, RD, LD, is a Registered Dietitian at The Corvallis Clinic Nutrition Services Department.

Follow me on Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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Strawberries! Every meal is an opportunity!

Jun 27, 04:22 PM


June is definitely the time to start enjoying fresh local strawberries in the Willamette Valley!  Friends and family are seen hustling to nearby farmers markets and street-side fruit stands purchasing flats of these mouthwatering fresh berries, then racing home to make delicious jams, jellies and of course strawberry shortcake!  But it doesn’t need to stop there.  In recent years strawberries have become increasingly popular in the culinary world across the globe.  So the next time you have strawberries on your mind, think outside of the box and experiment with some new innovative, fun and delicious ways to use these delectable morsels - as every meal is an opportunity!

  • Salsa: When making salsa, replace half or all of the tomatoes with fresh sliced strawberries.
  • Roasted Strawberries: Roast fresh strawberries in a hot oven and make into a sweet or savory jam, sauce or dressing base.
  • Pair with Proteins. A quick sauté of strawberries, balsamic vinegar and black pepper transforms into a delicious sauce that complements well with any meat, fish or poultry.
  • Beverages: Replace ice cubes with frozen strawberries when blending up a smoothie or other drinks. 
  • Cereal and Salads: Add sliced strawberries to your morning cereal and your daily salads.  Pureed strawberries can easily be made into a light, flavorful and healthy dressing.  A strawberry caprese salad made with fresh mozzarella and basil is sure to be a crowd pleaser!
  • Sorbet and Frozen Yogurt. Instead of making fat-laden ice cream, try a light and refreshing strawberry sorbet, frozen yogurt or just frozen berries to help keep you cool during the hot days of summer.

Strawberries can be found all year around in many grocery or specialty stores.  Not only is this fruit convenient and versatile, it is packed with essential nutrients and offers numerous health benefits.  One cup of fresh or frozen strawberries provides only 45 calories and is a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin C, folate and iron. They contain no fat, cholesterol or sodium.  This berry is also rich in polyphenol compounds such as flavonoids and anthocyanins, which help protect the body’s immune system from inflammation and oxidative stress.  Research suggests strawberries may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, insulin-glucose response and several gastrointestinal cancers.

So whether you prefer fresh or frozen; whole, sliced, diced or pureed, there are endless ways to incorporate this delicious fruit into your diet all year around.  For more inspirational recipe ideas click here.


Until next time, here’s to healthy eating!

Lori Dodds, RD, LD, is a Registered Dietitian at The Corvallis Clinic Nutrition Services Department.

Follow me on Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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Graduations, Goodbyes and New Beginnings

Jun 27, 11:31 AM

Clinical Research Center

I'm sure a lot of readers have been busy this June celebrating various high school and college graduations or middle school promotions as they are now called.  Personally, I recently traveled to California to attend my oldest daughter's college graduation.  It was bittersweet for me to observe her happy interactions with good friends and professors, people she has come to rely on as friends, study partners and mentors.  My daughter is blissfully unaware that many of these friendships will fade over time.

Thinking about goodbyes led me to reminisce about some of the patients I've worked with, particularly those that have participated in long-term studies.  I miss seeing them when the study is over!  However, the cycle is starting anew for me as this week I enrolled the first patient in a long-term diabetes study for those who also have heart and or kidney disease.

Speaking of farewells, at the Research Center we recently said goodbye to Josh, a colleague who is determined to return to school to finish a bachelor's degree.  Again bittersweet - we hated losing a member of our team, even though we support his quest to earn a college diploma.    

Yes, graduations, goodbyes and new beginnings abound!  My daughter will maintain the college relationships of value and will use those as a measuring stick for new acquaintances in real life.  Although I don't see my long-term study patients anymore, I think they carry forward more understanding of their disease process and treatment options; I know I have learned much from them.  We said goodbye to Josh but take comfort that he is now an OSU Beaver working toward his goal.  We’ll miss Josh but will always remember that during last Halloween he made the Best ... Gilligan ... Ever!

The Clinical Research Center crew dressed up as the castaways of "Gilligan's Island" last Halloween.

If you would like more information about clinical studies contact the Clinical Research Center at 541-766-2163 or send an email to research@corvallisclinic.com.   

- Julie Carrico is Associate Coordinator of The Corvallis Clinic Clinical Research Center

 


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Visibility and Research Education in the Community

Jun 03, 08:53 AM

Clinical Research Center

An important goal for the Clinical Research Center is to be visible in our community.  To help achieve this goal, the research department has attended local community health events such as the Diabetes Fair held at The Corvallis Clinic, OSU Gerontology Conference, Healthy Living Expo in Corvallis, and Live Well Expo in Albany.  We will continue having a presence at local health events like these to let the community know about our research program.  

Most people are intimidated about participating in clinical research mainly because they don’t know anything about it.  The idea of clinical research becomes much less scary when people have information, so I’ve developed a presentation titled “Clinical Research Demystified – What Everyone Should Know.”  I give the presentation to interested groups such as workplace wellness programs or patient advocacy organizations.  The objective of my presentation is to educate the audience such that if they or someone they know are approached about participating in a study they will have a basic understanding of the research process. 

When given a chance to learn about research studies and the processes involved, patients become more receptive to study participation. A 2013 study done by The Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP) shows that 88 percent of those who have participated in a study say they would do it again (for more details on this report, click here.) 

We regularly survey our research patients after they have participated in our studies. Our recent results indicate that 100 percent of our patients have a favorable impression about clinical research and 100 percent of them would recommend trial participation to a friend or family member.  So, we must be doing something right! 

If you are interested in learning more about our current studies or have a group that might benefit from a research education presentation, please contact Josh at the Research Center at 541-754-1398, Option 7.

- Julie Carrico is Associate Coordinator of The Corvallis Clinic Clinical Research Center


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