The UCLA Neurology NEXT clinical site commits to the development and completion of phase 2 trials by the experienced two PD/PIs and the over 80 adult and pediatric clinicians of the UCLA Department of Neurology. This department has been the top recipient of NIH funding among neurology departments for the past 8 years and includes 19 disease-oriented clinical programs. Each of the 19 Program Directors commits to participation in NEXT trials and will use this opportunity to augment training opportunities for fellows and junior faculty. Department faculty members have been leaders in the design and management of clinical trials;programs participate in 40-50 trials yearly that enroll large numbers of participants from Los Angeles County's racially and ethnically diverse population. In 2004, the Department created a Center for NeuroTherapeutics with four clinic rooms to foster clinical trials. To further our ability to recruit and retain trial participants, we will intensify partnerships with the neurologists at the L.A. County's Harbor-UCLA and the Olive View-UCLA Medical Centers, the County's Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and the UCLA and Cedars voluntary faculty in private practice. The combined faculty assesses over 200,000 new patients yearly. We will use Web-based communications with our sites and prospectively identify potential subjects for trials during clinic visits and faculty lectures in the community t give more women and minorities the opportunity to participate. We will utilize the community-outreach programs created by our NIH-funded Clinical Translational Science Institute to further our outstanding track record of enrolling minority subjects. UCLA has shown its institutional support by agreeing to a Central IRB and master contractual agreements. The PIs and faculty look forward to adding our expertise and collaborating with colleagues at other sites, as well as with the CCC and DCC, to rapidly implement and complete protocols, test new activity-monitoring and outcome-measurement tools, nest studies within protocols to improve recruitment and retention strategies, and train young clinical investigators.
The NEXT Network of 25 collaborating sites will set a new standard for cost-effective, rapid implementation of clinical trials to find evidence-based treatments for patients with neurological diseases. The investigators will develop and test new strategies to optimize individual trials and discover new information from the sum of all studies, which will improve the health of seriously ill and disabled persons.