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Medical Therapeutic Area Descriptions

Below are detailed descriptions of various medical areas to assist you in easily finding the right category to begin your clinical trial, drug therapy, trial results search, health association or patient resources search.

Cardiology/Vascular Diseases
Diseases having to do with the structure and function of the heart and blood vessels. Studies in these areas include: heart failure, coronary artery disease, high cholesterol, blood clots, circulation disorders, and others.

Dental and Oral Health
This area is related to the teeth, jaw, face and its structures. Studies in these areas include: acute and chronic dental pain, oral cavity cancer, oral facial pain, oral medicine, and saliva and salivary gland dysfunction.

Dermatology
Fields concerned with skin disorders and the reconstruction or replacement of deformed, damaged, or lost parts of the body. Also concerns cosmetic surgery. Studies in these areas include: acne, congenital skin diseases, genital herpes, genital warts, liposuction, psoriasis, skin wounds, athlete’s foot, venous leg ulcers, and others.

Endocrinology
Field relating to hormone-manufacturing glands such as the pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands, as well as the ovary and testis, the placenta, and the pancreas. Studies in this area include: diabetes and diabetes-related disorders, diet and nutrition, hormone-replacement therapy, menopause, obesity, and others.

Family Medicine
Illness or the prevention of illness which can be managed by a primary care physician. This is a comprehensive area covering the basic systems of the body and mind.

Gastroenterology
The study of the gastrointestinal organs and diseases relating to them. This includes any part of the digestive tract from mouth to anus, liver, biliary tract, and the pancreas. Studies in this area include: constipation, Crohn’s disease, diarrhea, gall bladder disease, heartburn, hemorrhoids, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), ulcers, liver disease, stomach cancer, and others.

Genetic Disease
Field related to the study of genetic disease, which are inherited, congenital (one is born with the disease) malfunctions of the genes/chromosomes. These include Down’s syndrome, Tay-sachs, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell and more.

Healthy Volunteers
Most Healthy Patient Studies are Phase I studies which are primarily concerned with assessing a drug's safety. This initial phase of testing in humans is done in a small number of healthy volunteers who are usually paid for participating in the study. Other Healthy Patient Studies investigate the effects of environmental conditions on healthy volunteers. For instance, the studies may investigate the effects of exercise, vitamins, or diet on the human body.

Hematology
Field regarding blood, blood-forming tissues, and the diseases associated with them. Studies in this area include: anemia, blood clots, bone marrow transplant, leukemia, platelet disorders, red-cell disorders, T-cell lymphoma, vitamin deficiencies, white-cell disorders, and others.

Hepatology (Liver, Pancreatic, Gall Bladder)
This is the field of illness affecting the liver, pancreas, gall bladder and biliary tract. This includes liver disease, hepatitis, pancreatitis, cirrhosis and more.

Immunology
This area covers malfunctions of the immune system, either over stimulation or under stimulation of the normal immune system processes. Some examples include allergies, asthma, arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, colitis and multiple sclerosis.

Infections and Infectious Diseases
Diseases caused by the invasion of a pathogen, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. These are typically contagious diseases and include: AIDS/HIV, influenza, common cold, vaccines, sexually transmitted diseases, gastroenteritis, etc.

Musculoskeletal
Field having to do with the muscles and the bones of the body. Studies in this area include: aging, bone density, bone fractures, chronic back pain, hip replacement, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal cord injuries, and others.

Nephrology
The studies and the treatment of diseases of the kidney and the urinary tract. Studies in these areas include: bladder cancer, impotence, kidney disease, kidney stones, mastectomy, nocturia, renal cell carcinoma, urinary tract infections, and others.

Neurology
Field concerning the nervous system, especially the brain, peripheral nerves, and spinal cord. Studies in this field include: Alzheimer’s Disease, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Huntington’s Disease, dementia, memory loss, migraine headaches, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s Disease, strokes, Tourette’s Syndrome, and others.

Nutrition and Weight Loss
Field related to the metabolic and physiological responses of the body to diet and nutrition. This includes diseases related to excesses or deficiencies in the diet. Nutritional diseases also include developmental abnormalities that can be prevented by diet, hereditary metabolic disorders that respond to dietary treatment, the interaction of foods and nutrients with drugs, food allergies and intolerances, and potential hazards in the food supply.

Obstetrics/Gynecology
Research pertaining to the care of women during pregnancy and childbirth, as well as to the study of the women’s reproductive system in general. Studies in these areas include: contraception, hormone-replacement therapy, menopause, menstrual disorders, ovarian cysts, PMS, pregnancy/labor/delivery, yeast infections, and others.

Oncology
The medical, surgical, and radiation treatment of tumors (cancerous, especially). Studies in this area include most types of cancer and treatment thereof.

Ophthalmology
Field concerning the eye and eye diseases. Studies in this area include: cataracts, eye infections, glaucoma, macular degeneration, near-sighted corrective surgery, and others.

Orthopedics/Orthopedic Surgery
This area is associated with injuries or disorders of the skeletal system (bone) and associated muscles, joints, and ligaments. Conditions include arthritis, neck and back pain, fractures and osteoporosis.

Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose, Throat)
Also known as ENT (ears, nose, and throat), this is the study of diseases involving the ears and the larynx (organ that helps produce vocal sounds and serves as an air passageway, located in the neck/throat). Studies in this area include: allergy, ear infections, pneumonia, rhinitis, sinus infections, strep throat, and others.

Pediatrics/Neonatology
The medical treatment and study of children and infants, respectively. Studies in these areas include: anorexia, asthma, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), birth defects, cancers in children, child depression, growth deficiencies, juvenile diabetes, obesity, strep throat, vaccines, and others.

Plastic Surgery
This field related to reconstructive or cosmetic surgery. Areas can include breast reconstruction, rhinoplasty, mastectomy, scars and cleft palate.

Pharmacology/Toxicology
The science of drugs and poisonous materials (respectively) and their effects on the body. Studies in these areas include: diet and nutrition; overdoses; and vitamin deficiencies.

Podiatry
This area relates to conditions affecting the lower extremities, ankle and foot. This includes bunions, fungal infections and diabetic foot ulcers.

Psychiatry/Psychology
Fields relating to mental disorders and their treatment and prevention. Also, the study of human behavior. Studies in these areas include: addictions, anxiety, dementia, depression, bipolar disorders, manic disorders, mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, schizophrenia, social phobia, substance abuse, and others.

Pulmonary/Respiratory Diseases
Diseases having to do with the lungs and/or breathing. Studies in these areas include: Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), allergy, asthma, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, lung disease, pneumonia, sinus infections, smoking cessation, and others.

Rheumatology
The field relating to joints, tendons, muscles, ligaments, and associated structures. Studies in this area include: arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriasis, rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis, and others.

Sleep
This encompasses medical conditions which disrupt regular sleep patterns. This includes insomnia, narcolepsy, sleep apnea and circadian sleep rhythm disorders.

Trauma (Emergency, Injury, Surgery)
The medical specialties involving physical wounds or injuries. Studies in these areas include: athletic injuries, burns, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), traumatic brain injuries, and others.

Urology
This is the field of the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive system. Conditions include urinary tract infections, prostate disorders and erectile dysfunction.

Vaccines
This area investigates preventative and therapeutic vaccines.