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In the recent HDDW article "Lighting the Candle" of clinical trials for Huntington's, we placed emphasis on the work of HSG, CHDI and other sponsors. Of course they are all important, but in the end the most vital part of clinical trials belongs to the Huntington family community: It will be us who keep the flames alive.

Because no matter who lights the candle, even the best drug candidates, or the most improved clinical trial designs, or the perfect biomarkers -- all of these things will make no difference -- if we don't support and join clinical trials. Here's how to begin . .

How to Keep the Flame Burning

(1) The most important factor is awareness. Know what is happening by checking on the HDDW clinical trial section, or on other listed web links. If you sign up at a new source, HDTrials.org, you will be alerted by email of any new trial offered in your area.

Signing up at HDTrials.org will also let drug companies know where there is interest, making it more likely that trials will be offered in these geographic areas. The National Roster for Huntington's is another source that can alert you to clinical trials offered by the Huntington Study Group.

(2) Increase your knowledge about the "what and why" of clinical trials for Huntington's. Some pointers:

WHAT ARE HUNTINGTON CLINICAL TRIALS?

WHY DO CLINICAL STUDIES AND TRIALS?

(3) Do your own research and ask questions about the trial that interests you most.

QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE ENROLLING IN A CLINICAL TRIAL

(4) Communicate your knowledge Let others -- extended families, support groups, and the "on-line" community -- know what you have learned. Most will appreciate the information.

(5) Encourage and help others participate. Form car-pools, baby-sitting services or whatever is needed to facilitate the participation of others.

Editor's comments: There can be no treatment advances in Huntington's without our participation in clinical trials. Already, several hundred clinical trial volunteers are needed for ongoing drug trials; and even larger numbers will be needed for those that are planned. The more efficiently we enroll every single participant for every trial, the more quickly we will have treatments for Huntington's families.

Remember, that together we have the power to speed treatments for Huntington's families.