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Corvallis Clinic Health Information Blog

Seeking moderate to severe asthma sufferers

Nov 23, 11:29 AM

Clinical Research Center

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, an estimated 26 million Americans have asthma. So, so it’s no wonder that most of us know someone who has this chronic lung disease.  Common symptoms of asthma are coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness. 

Asthma is the result of an inflammatory process that constricts the airways; if the inflammation can be controlled, asthma symptoms are reduced.  Most asthma patients lead normal lives, perhaps using one or more daily medications to control the inflammatory process and thus control asthma symptoms.

However, some asthma patients have moderate to severe asthma; their symptoms are not well controlled, even though they are receiving standard treatment. Research aimed at finding new treatments for those with moderate to severe asthma have focused on finding better ways to control the inflammatory process.  For example, our bodies naturally produce proteins called interleukins, which assist in the production of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell that is the main perpetrator of inflammation. Would a treatment that could interrupt the production of interleukins limit inflammation and thus reduce asthma symptoms? 

The Research Center and Dr. Roland Solensky, an allergist and immunologist at The Corvallis Clinic, are involved in clinical studies to find the answer to this question.  The center is looking for patients between 12-75 years old who have moderate to severe asthma.  Patients who might qualify for this study will have had at least two asthma attacks within the past year that required steroid use or a visit to the ER or an urgent care center.  Research nurse Lisa would be happy to tell you more about this important study.

In addition to the moderate/severe asthma study, we're also enrolling patients in studies for Type 2 diabetes, COPD, walking difficulties after a stroke, those with very high triglyceride levels and contraception.

If you are interested in learning more about clinical trials, contact the Clinical Research Center at 541-766-2163 or send an email to  Or, follow us on Facebook at

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


Nov 09, 01:14 PM

Support for caregivers of Alzheimer's patients is vital

Nov 01, 06:00 AM

Clinical Research Center

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Caregiver Month.  About 5.1 million Americans age 65 and older have Alzheimer’s disease, with some 15 million caregivers involved in their daily lives.  That means 20 million Americans are impacted by the disease.

At the Clinical Research Center, we are doing everything we can to help find treatments that will prevent, cure or slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease.  We have blogged previously about our involvement in Alzheimer’s research as part of the Expedition 3 clinical trial.  We‘ve now been working with the Expedition 3 patients and their study partners/caregivers for almost two years; we’re about halfway through the trial. 

Since the patients and their study partners come in once a month for treatment, we’ve gotten to know them pretty well.  Here’s one interesting observation made by a study nurse: Caregivers who keep their “patients” busy with activities - such as travel, movies, fishing and other hobbies - don’t complain as much about their patients’ cognitive issues.  So, clearly, support for the caregivers is critical.

The Alzheimer’s Association has an amazing assortment of caregiver resources, including a 24/7 telephone Helpline and a search engine for finding assistance in your community.  In addition, the Caregiver Action Network (CAN) offers programs and tips to improve the quality of life for caretakers who are managing chronic conditions, disabilities, or disease.  CAN offers this important tip to caregivers: Take care of your own health so that you can be strong enough to take care of your loved one.

We’ll be posting a new video tomorrow about research at The Corvallis Clinic.  This video features a patient and her study partner as they explain why they sought to participate in an Alzheimer’s disease research project.  The video, although only 1 minute long, describes their journey and the hope it has inspired.

If you are interested in learning more about our studies, contact the Clinical Research Center at 541-766-2163 or send an email to  Or, follow us on Facebook at

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

Volunteers sought for contraception study

Oct 02, 01:13 PM

Clinical Research Center

The Clinical Research Center is currently participating in a contraception study of a vaginal ring, and we are looking for volunteers age 18 or older, who are heterosexually active and able to get pregnant if not using contraception.

Some women might ask, “Why would I want to try the vaginal ring?” Dr. Amey Lee, an obstetrician-gynecologist at the Corvallis Clinic and the study’s principal investigator, said there are many advantages to the vaginal ring. She said the vaginal ring is a convenient and reliable method of contraception and that it gives women control over their periods and fertility.

With vaginal ring birth control, you don’t have to think about whether or not you remembered your pill that day. It is simply inserted and removed several weeks later.

Also, birth control isn’t just for family planning. A recent article in Women’s Health details how birth control can help with acne and anemia, protects against Pelvic Inflammatory disease, and even decreases the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers.

So what does it mean if you decide to participate in our vaginal ring trial? By participating, it gives you the opportunity to gain access to a simple and convenient family planning tool. You also don’t have to worry about insurance co-pays because all study expenses are covered. Dr. Lee stated that the advantage of participating in this trial is that it will give patients the opportunity to explore a different type of birth control that is normally very costly. You also get one-on-one time with nurses and doctors who will walk you through the entire process, and you will always have any questions and concerns answered quickly and with compassion.

If you are interested in learning more about our studies, contact the Clinical Research Center at 541-766-2163 or send an email to Or, follow us on Facebook at

Rita Torres, BA, is the Clinical Research Coordinator with the Clinical Research Center.

Love in The Age of Facebook: Tips on traversing the sometimes tough terrain of status updates

Sep 29, 04:10 PM

Marcie Courter, Psy.D

By Dr. Marcie Courter
Clinical Psychologist, The Corvallis Clinic

Relationships can be tricky to navigate, even more so when 185 of your closest Facebook friends are monitoring its status. So, first off, when do you change your Facebook status to “in a relationship”? After the first date, second date, third?

That first date can be exciting, but changing your status probably requires a few more dates and discussion with your partner. Your best bet is to wait until you have had a consistent pattern of positive dating interactions. It is also important to discuss the status of your relationship with your partner. Take your partner’s feelings into account when making this decision. If your partner does not feel ready to broadcast to all of your friends that you are dating, then respect the person’s wishes.

However, if you are feeling disrespected by your partner’s desires to post or not post your relationship status, then a discussion is in order, as well as some thought about whether you are getting your needs met from the relationship. It is also a good idea to examine the reasons why you feel the need to post on Facebook. Is it to finally prove to the world that you are worth dating? To receive support and assurance?  To make an ex-partner jealous?  Or is it the need to feel liked by others?

Once you decide to post your relationship, is it appropriate to post status updates and pictures of your relationship? Everyone likes to see pictures of friends; however, some people may think the continuous link into your relationship gives them the right to give you relationship advice – even when unsolicited. 

Remember, a relationship is a special bond between just the two of you. Deciding whether or not to go viral with that bond and share it with others should be a decision both parties make carefully.

Lastly we come to the difficult and dreaded time in a relationship - the break up. Now we all know this will never happen to your relationship, right? So, let’s just say a friend recently broke up with a partner. Does that friend change their Facebook status to “single” right away? Does your friend start obsessively checking on their ex-partner’s status to see what is being said?

Here is what you might say to your “friend”: “Deciding to break up is a painful process, and it is best to give yourself some time to process your feelings before changing your Facebook status.  If your ex-partner has already changed their status - and you feel angry - know that this is part of your ex’s healing process. If you do decide to change your status to “single,” be prepared for people to have an opinion.”

Most of your Facebook friends will want to give advice or comment; you made your relationship viral so now they have a stake in it. If you find yourself checking your ex-partner’s status and page more than once a day, then chances are you might need to unfriend your ex-partner for a while. If you are checking the pages of your ex’s friends, then maybe a break from Facebook would be appropriate.

Remember, social networking sites such as Facebook are a tool for keeping in touch with others. You and your partner are already in close contact. Understanding the reasons why you want to post information about your relationship will help you know if it is the right thing to do.

The bottom line is that you need to respect both your partner and yourself. If you can do that while informing others through Facebook about your relationship, great. If you and your partner cannot find a way to agree on whether or not Facebook is a good idea for your relationship, or you are hanging on to a relationship after it is over by checking your ex’s status, then it is probably best to break up with Facebook as the third wheel … just for a while.

Marcie Courter, Psy.D, is a clinical psychologist at The Corvallis Clinic at Waverly Drive in Albany. Dr. Courter is also a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional and a Certified Compassion Fatigue Professional. She can be reached at 541-754-1288.