SIU School of Medicine

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Clinical Trials Underway
SIU researchers have advanced their research to clinical trials,
and many nationally-sponsored studies are recruiting for patients.

Stop the Ringing

Dr. Bauer

The Division of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery needs tinnitus patients for a controlled clinical trial examining the effect of hearing aids on people with bothersome tinnitus. SIU is the only site in the United States participating in this study evaluating the efficacy and safety of Tinnitus Retraining Therapy on tinnitus associated with hearing loss.

“We’re hoping the results of the study will provide more clear-cut guidelines on how to treat tinnitus sufferers who also have hearing loss,” says Dr. Carol Bauer, professor of otolaryngology at SIU. Dr. Bauer is directing the study, which is funded by the Tinnitus Research Consortium.

Eligible patients must be between the ages of 18 and 75 and live within 60 miles of Springfield. They must have tinnitus that has been bothersome for at least one year and be willing to wear hearing aids in both ears as treatment for the tinnitus. Finally, patients must be willing to return to Springfield for treatment and evaluation over 18 months. There is no charge to the participants for the tests and treatments related to the study.

Call Jennifer Parrish at 217-545-8181 or

Slow Parkinson’s progression

Dr. ElbleIndividuals with early stage Parkinson’s disease (PD) are being recruited as part of a national study of the drug pioglitazone (Actos®). The study will assess the efficacy, general safety and tolerability of pioglitazone in treatment of people who have early PD. Currently, pioglitazone is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of Type II diabetes but has not been studied in people with PD.

The study is sponsored by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes and the Michael J. Fox Foundation and is being conducted at 42 research centers across the United States.

“This is an important study looking for a drug to slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease,” says Dr. Rodger J. Elble, Ph.D., professor and chair of the neurology department at SIU and principle investigator of the local Phase II clinical trial.

Patients who are 30 years old and older who have been diagnosed for five or fewer years with PD are eligible for the study. Participants must not have been on any previous Parkinson medications except Selegiline or Rasagiline for 8 months or less prior to enrollment. Physicians will follow participants in the study for about 48 weeks. There is no cost to participate in the study. Results will be shared with the participant’s personal physician.

Contact Dolly Kelley, at 217-545-7829 or

National Alzheimer’s Disease Study

The Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders is evaluating the effectiveness of the drug Dr. Alabapineuzumab in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease are needed to participate in a national multi-site study of the drug.

“This study will give us a better understanding about the disease and hopefully lead to better treatment options,” says Dr. Tom Ala, associate professor of neurology at SIU, who is directing the study.

Volunteers must be between the ages of 50 and 89 and be willing to take cognitive tests, live at home with a caregiver capable of accompanying the patient on clinic visits and not have a history of clinically evident stroke.

Each participant will receive a physical examination and other tests prior to the pharmaceutical trial starting date and during 15 follow-up visits over 18 months. There is no charge to the participants for the tests and medications related to the study, which is sponsored by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.

Contact Barbara Lokaitis at 217-545-9737 or