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Common Cold Clinical Research

Learn about Achieve's Common Cold Clinical Trials

girl qualifies for a common cold research studyNobody wants them, but everybody gets them. The common cold brings a sore throat, runny nose, cough and just plain old misery. It can leave you sick at home, missing out on days at work or school. Brought on by more than 200 types of viruses, the common cold affects millions of people each year.

Continued research is crucial in finding new ways to treat and prevent the common cold and combat new virus strains that lead to the common cold. Our research team at Achieve Clinical Research is working to improve preventative measures and treatment options by conducting common cold clinical trials.

Want to take an active role in common cold clinical research? You can fill out the form in the right hand corner of this page. A member of our staff will then contact you to discuss your eligibility for an upcoming common cold clinical trial in Birmingham. You can also call us at (205) 757-8208 to speak with one of our clinical trial experts.

What Causes the Common Cold?

We have all been told by our mothers to put on a jacket when it is chilly outside or else we will catch a cold. However, this is actually a myth. Cold weather will not cause an onslaught of the common cold, but instead a cold is started by one of more than 200 viruses. The most common of which being the rhinovirus, responsible for 10% to 40% of colds.

Two other common viruses that lead to the common cold are the coronavirus, responsible for 20% of cold cases, and the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), responsible for around 10% of cases.

Colds are generally spread through two means. You can catch a common cold by inhaling virus particles released into the air when an infected person:

  • Sneezes
  • Coughs
  • Speaks
  • Wipes their nose

Another common way to catch the common cold is by coming into contact with a contaminated surface touched by an infected person. Common points of contamination are:

  • Telephones
  • Door Handles
  • Towels
  • Electronic Devices
  • Children’s Toys

The NIAID (National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases) has stated that the rhinovirus is capable of living for up to three hours on the hands and hard surfaces.

A virus initiates a cold by attaching itself to the lining of the throat or nostrils. Once inside your body, the immune system immediately takes action by sending out white blood cells to combat the virus. In reaction to your body’s fight against this invader, your body will begin to produce more mucus in the throat and nose causing them to become inflamed and sore.

The first white blood cells sent to fight the infection will fail, unless you have already encountered the specific strain of virus beforehand, and your immune system will continue to defend your body by sending in new white blood cells. In order to combat a virus, the immune system expends a lot of your body’s energy, leaving you physically and mentally drained.

The viruses that cause common colds tend to thrive in low humidity conditions. This is why fall and winter tend to bring about more cases of the common cold than the more humid spring and summer months. During this colder time of the year, people tend to avoid going outside, increasing their risk of infection due to the drier air inside.

Another reason colds spread more easily during the fall and winter is the start of school terms. Schools bring a large number of people into close contact with each other allowing viruses to spread quickly and easily.

Risk Factors for the Common Cold

There are several risk factors that contribute to catching the common cold none of which include being cold and wet, as many people tend to believe. In reality factors that lead to an increased risk of being infected by a virus include:

  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Lack of sleep
  • Age
  • Time of year

The New England Medical Journal published a study on the effect of stress on the body’s ability to combat respiratory viruses. The results of the study revealed a possible correlation between stress and the body’s risk of contracting an infectious virus.

Another big risk factor for catching the common cold is smoking. Both smoking and secondhand smoke are proven to cause respiratory issues. Toxic chemicals inhaled from smoking disrupt the respiratory system and aggravate the lining of the throat, making infection more likely. Also, the possibility of a common cold developing into a more serious respiratory issue is increased for smokers.

Sleep plays an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system. A strong link between risk of the common cold and not getting enough quality sleep has been shown to exist. It is recommend that children and young adolescents get nine or more hours of sleep a night, and adults get seven to eight hours of sleep.

With undeveloped immune systems and lack of exposure to the many virus strains out there, children and infants tend to be more susceptible to the common cold. Children are also more likely to practice poor hygiene habits and are frequently in close proximity to other other children, raising the risk for infection and spreading the virus quickly from host to host.

Seasons also have a significant impact on the risk of catching the common cold. Respiratory viruses tend to occur more often when the weather is dry and less humid which is why fall and winter usually see a rise in the number common cold cases. People also spend more time in close contact inside during the colder months of the year, allowing viruses to spread at a faster rate than normal.

Common Cold Clinical Trials in Birmingham, Alabama

If you would like to participate in a common cold clinical trial, our experienced research team will get you enrolled in the most appropriate one. If you have never taken part in one before, we suggest that you spend some time looking through our resource section.

Patient consults doctor on common cold clinical research

Common cold clinical research participants will receive compensation for travel and time involved. Plus, the following will all be provided free of charge:

  • Physical examinations
  • Study prescribed medication
  • Protocol mandated laboratory tests

Please note that we conduct clinical trials targeted towards a diverse variety of medical conditions at our clinic here in Birmingham. Not experiencing the common cold? You could still qualify for one of these other clinical trials. If you are interested in helping us advance modern medicine while also earning money for your effort, please give us a call today at (205) 757-8208.