Are you a healthy control?

How about becoming a healthy volunteer for research and helping us Discover ~ Conquer ~ Cure? 

Do you have spare time and want to make a difference to people’s lives? Perhaps you’re willing to give up your time and participate in studies right here in Randwick?

I’m Connie Severino and my job at NeuRA is to maintain our healthy volunteer database that provides researchers with an easy way to recruit people for their studies.

We are always looking to recruit healthy volunteers because we want to make a difference to the lives of many who have suffered or are currently suffering neurological illnesses.

Healthy volunteers play an important part in supporting our research programs.

Each group within NeuRA covers a different area of research ranging from Alzheimer’s disease, chronic pain, falls and balance, Frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, sleep apnoea, stroke, and many more. We recruit healthy volunteers for all of these areas.

We use data we collect from our healthy volunteers and compare it with the data we have from those affected with a particular neurological condition.

A healthy volunteer, often referred to as a ‘control’ or who sits within a ‘control group’, is simply a standard of comparison for checking or verifying the results of an experiment. Controls are the standard against which experimental observations are evaluated.

Becoming a volunteer does not cost you anything, however we do ask for your time and patience. Initially we ask you to complete a questionnaire and, from there, if you meet the control criteria, we register you on our Healthy Volunteer Registry that allows you to be selected up to three times a year.

What do I need to know? 

Often researchers will ask for clear specifications in controls such as age, gender, right or left handedness or walking ability. Once you are selected for a study, the researchers are notified and will contact you and ask you to participate.

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Jacqui Zheng with a volunteer for a falls and balance study at NeuRA

Each group’s tasks and activities vary but, rest assured, you will be well informed as to the specific tasks required of you before the trial begins. We endeavor to accommodate all your needs from travel arrangements, pick up and parking depending on your location and, at all times, keep you comfortable and informed.

We look for participants housed all over the country, particularly in NSW and the ACT. That said, due to most testing taking place here in Randwick, we typically invite volunteers from the Sydney metro and surrounding areas to join us, for ease of travel.

How do I get involved? 

Once you become a registered volunteer, you are not obliged to accept every invitation you are offered and you are of course free to withdraw from being on the registry at any given time.

Our registry has been active for approximately four years and has been beneficial for 30 studies to date. Some of our volunteers have returned to us multiple times as they enjoy the process and the ability to contribute to medical science in this way.

If you are interested in contributing your time, please see our website for further details or contact me directly on (02) 9399 1155. I am happy to answer any questions you might have.

It’s my belief that ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’… we thank all those who have helped in the past and who continue to volunteer.

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