Meet Carman Research

Having good neighbors is so important. Good neighbors make us feel safer and more secure in our homes. Most importantly, good neighbors can become great friends. At Woodland Ridge Assisted Living, we’ve been getting to know some of our neighbors a little better. We’ve got some very interesting people around our community, and we’d like to introduce some of them to you. One of our neighbors is Carman Research. If you’re taking care of a loved one who has dementia, you’ve probably heard the names of three widely prescribed medications: Aricept, Exelon, and Namenda. What you might not know, though, is that Smyrna’s very own Carman Research helped put those products on the market. How cool is that?

Dr. John Carman founded Carman Research in 1981, and Carman Research is now the longest running clinical psychopharmacologic center in Georgia. Carman Research participates in studies to test the effectiveness and safety of investigational drugs as well to test new uses for existing medications already on the market. At Carman Research, the emphasis has been on extensive study of depression, most recently focused on geriatric depression; Alzheimer’s disease; memory loss; adult ADHD; fibromyalgia; bipolar disorder; and schizophrenia. Dr. Carman himself has been doing this work for over 45 years. He knew when he was a teenager that he wanted to go into clinical research because he’d seen his grandmother decline and pass away as a result of Alzheimer’s disease. He describes the heartbreaking process as “death from the inside out,” and his personal experience gave him a passion for finding better preventative treatments for this horrible disease.

He began his career by running a research unit at the National Institute of Mental Health for five years. There, he was able to develop the process of informed consent and best research practices for patients with mental illness. When asked what accomplishment he’s most proud of, Dr. Carman points to his work at NIMH as the most rewarding because he was able to lay the groundwork for clinical research and set the bar for conducting clinical trials ethically while protecting patients’ rights. The numbers behind Dr. Carman’s work are impressive: he’s participated in over 400 studies; he’s worked with over 60 companies; he’s been involved in pivotal studies leading to FDA approval and/or expansion of indications for over 40 psychoactive compounds; he’s authored over 100 publications and national presentations; he’s published a book on biological psychiatry; and he’s won numerous awards in his field.

What’s even more impressive, though, is Dr. Carman’s compassion for the patients he serves. Dr. Carman and his colleagues are proud to be at the forefront of cutting-edge technology and research, but they are driven by their interaction with patients, family members, caregivers, and partners. Carman Research is dedicated to providing a nurturing environment to families who are going through difficult times while providing them with the latest information and the most current innovations related to their loved ones’ disease process.

Carman Research is actively engaged in finding effective treatments for mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease with two studies that are underway now. One study focuses on those concerned with mild memory impairment; this study is investigating a potential game-changer in the field of Alzheimer’s research. The other study involves treatment for Alzheimer’s patients who experience increased agitation and anxiety.

Now that you’ve met some of our neighbors, you might be interested in working with them. Would you like to participate in one of these ground-breaking studies? It’s easy to connect with Carman Research and fill out an eligibility questionnaire. You can read more about Dr. Carman’s background and the studies underway, and you can fill out the questionnaire online at www.CarmanResearch.com. Or you can always talk to them by calling the office at 770-333-0093. Brittany can also send you information via email if you contact her at Brittany@carmanresearch.com.

Participating in a study can benefit patients in many ways. Not only do patients get a complete medical workup, including many screenings that wouldn’t ordinarily be covered by insurance, but the process is also free of charge to the patient. Dr. Carman’s staff tell us that they sometimes find other reasons for certain symptoms while doing the complete medical workup. They may find patients who have thyroid disease, anemia, vitamin B12 deficiency, and other disorders that can be addressed immediately with the patient’s primary physician; addressing underlying issues may also provide some relief for neuropsychological symptoms. Patients can also potentially receive care at no cost and receive stipends for their travel. To top it all off, Carman Research has live on-call coverage 24/7 so prospective study participants and current participants are seen quickly. Participants also receive up to 6 months of follow- up care after completing the study.

Dr. Carman knew as a young adult that there were genetic components to Alzheimer’s disease, and finding a cure for Alzheimer’s was not only a passion because of his experience with his grandmother, but he also knew that he or his children might be more prone to Alzheimer’s disease. Carman Research encourages potential participants to understand the role they may play in finding a treatment that will impact their own children, grandchildren, and beyond. What a tremendous legacy to leave your loved ones!

We’ve enjoyed getting to know our neighbors at Carman Research a little better. They are wonderful, caring people, and we hope you’ll reach out to them if their services might be of help to you.