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Leading the way with clinical trials

Dr Lakshmi Dhakal
Dr Lakshmi Dhakal

Northeast Health Wangaratta (NHW) is proud to have participated in a world-first clinical trial attempting to address dementia related wandering behaviours.

The international study, known as the FOUND Trial, which took place across 12 sites in the USA and Australia, tested whether a medication called Fasudil is safe and can reduce dementia related wandering behaviours.

Some five local residents were part of the trial, equating to 27% of the total participants.

NHW are currently awaiting the results of the trial, however Dr Lakshmi Dhakal, Clinical Director of Subacute Services and Consultant Geriatrician who conducted the trial at NHW, said the participants and their families were appreciative of the opportunity to be part of the trial.

“A number of the patients didn’t want to go off the medication, which is a positive sign,” he said.

Dr Dhakal said clinical trials were not common in regional areas and created a point of difference for NHW.

“Prior to us having the Clinical Trials Research Service, the community did not have access to participate in clinical trials,” he said.

“Clinical trials are essential in building the profile of the hospital.

“It gives job opportunities and helps to attract senior physicians. It enhances academic atmosphere and improves the quality of care”.

“For me to advance my practice and remain up to date, clinical trials are extremely important.”

As for what comes next, Dr Dhakal said there were a number of trials in the pipeline that NHW was currently assessing participating in. NHW will also share the results of the FOUND trial when these become available.