Research company to test medicines on children, elderly and psychiatric patients

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The Center for Human Drug Research in Leiden will soon start testing medicines on young children, elderly people and psychiatric patients in an effort to fully understand the effects and side effects medicines have on the people they are intended for, NOS reports.

Testing medicines on the vulnerable people in society is legally allowed, but it does not happen often as it is difficult to find enough volunteers. Participating in such tests often means regular visits to the hospital, which interferes with children's school and is stressful for family members who have to accompany the children, psychiatric patients or elderly people with dementia.

Most drugs are therefore tested on healthy young men. But that means that possible side effects can be quite different in the people who actually end up taking the drugs.

To make it easier to participate in such studies, the Center for Human Drug Research is using technology. Wristbands can measure and relay how long a person sleeps and how much he moves about. Participants will also be given equipment to measure blood pressure, body temperature and weight from home. And CHDR employees will make regular home visits.

Adam Cohen, director of the CHDR, thinks that using such technology can also help with the regular test groups, as it will make the drug trials less stressful.

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