The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) is seeking volunteers to participate in sample donations for the launch of a new Sarcoidosis Research Clinic.
Volunteers needed include healthy individuals and people with a sarcoidosis diagnosis. Both African-American and European-American individuals are eligible to participate.
The clinic is the first of its kind in the state of Oklahoma.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer this option to Oklahomans,” Courtney Montgomery, PhD, sarcoidosis clinic director, said in a press release. “Sarcoidosis patients are often misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. By coming here and allowing us to learn from them, they can play a key role in helping us understand the underlying biology of the condition.”
Sarcoidosis is a systemic granulomatous disorder that affects men and women of all races. According to data from the Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS) in the United States, African-American women are the most frequently and severely affected by the disease. The BWHS is a national prospective study in the U.S. that is following 59,000 black women for the occurrence of sarcoidosis, among other outcomes.
Annual incidence of sarcoidosis in African-Americans is estimated to be 39 per 100,000 people, compared with 5 per 100,000 in Caucasians.
The disease is not yet fully understood by the scientific community, but it is thought to involve both genetic and environmental factors, according to Montgomery.
The OMRF is working to identify these genetic and environmental factors in order to improve diagnosis, treatment, and disease outcomes. However, “to achieve these goals, we need participants to help us learn more about sarcoidosis,” Montgomery said.
Participants will be asked to undergo a screening process, complete questionnaires, and donate a small blood sample for research purposes. Participants will also be asked to provide consent to review medical records and access to previous biopsies related to a sarcoidosis diagnosis.
The goal of having an active research clinic is to enable researchers to take discoveries and translate them into clinically meaningful achievements in the long-term.
For more information about how to participate or to access more detailed info about the new Sarcoidosis Research Clinic, call Judy Harris at 405-271-2574 or call toll-free at 800-605-7447. Each participant will receive $20 per visit.