Kennedy Krieger’s scientists and researchers have made crucial discoveries that have led to innovative treatments, enhanced diagnosis, patient care and student education for individuals with disorders of the nervous system.

Participating in research is a way to help researchers learn more about certain health and learning problems. When you or your child participates in a clinical trial or research study, you become a partner in scientific discovery. And, your contribution can help future generations lead healthier lives. Major breakthroughs could not happen without the generosity of research participants.

Kennedy Krieger leads or participates in hundreds of research studies and clinical trials each year. Click the button below to view the list of studies that are currently open for new participants and to learn about the type of study or clinical trial, the criteria for participation and how to contact us if you are interested in participating.

Participate in Research Studies 

Clinical Trials vs. Clinical Research

Every treatment, intervention or medication is the result of years of research. Kennedy Krieger is involved with both clinical research and clinical trials.

Learn more about the difference between the two types of research below.

What is a Research Study?

Clinical research is the study of health and illness in people. It is the way we learn how to prevent, diagnose and treat illness. Clinical research goal is to move findings from the bench (done in labs) to the bedside into developing new treatments and information that will benefit patients. Clinical trials as well as research in epidemiology, physiology and pathophysiology, health services, education, outcomes and mental health can all fall under the clinical research umbrella.

What is a Clinical Trial?

A clinical trial is a type of clinical research study. A clinical trial is an experiment designed to answer specific questions about possible new treatments or new ways of using existing (known) treatments. Clinical trials are done to determine whether new drugs or treatments are safe and effective. Clinical trials are part of a long, careful process which may take many years to complete. First, doctors study a new treatment in the lab. Then they often study the treatment in animals. If a new treatment shows promise, doctors then test the treatment in people via a clinical trial.

Clinical Research vs. Medical Care

People often confuse a clinical research or clinical trials with medical care. This can be especially confusing if your doctor is also the researcher. When you receive medical care from your own doctor, he or she develops a plan of care just for you. When you take part in a clinical research study, you and the researcher must follow a set plan called the “study protocol.” The researcher usually can’t adjust the plan for you – but the plan includes steps to follow if you aren’t doing well. It’s important to understand that a clinical trial is an experiment. By its nature, that means the answer to the research question is still unknown. You might or might not benefit directly by participating in a clinical research study. It is important to talk about this topic with your doctor/the researcher.