Wednesday , June 16 2021

Retiree Des Calthorpe has become a human guinea pig to help others and cure diseases


November 16, 2018 at 13:44:09

Pinched, poked and poked – this is what a Brisbane man will report regularly, offering his body in the service of medical research.

After retiring, grandfather Des Calthorpe uses his spare time to help medical researchers in clinical trials on humans.

Mr. Calthorpe began to devote his time to research after being interviewed at the local ABC radio station.

"The professor talked about the study he was conducting about how the exercise could create new brain neurons.

"They did research with mice, but then they wanted to do research on humans, so I thought" why not? "

"Performing exercises three times a week at the University of Queensland (UQ) at the same time as they did brain tests was really interesting."

He said that it prompted him to sign up for other tests.

"I'm going to go through my 21 studies over the last two years, so now I'm a human guinea pig," he said.

Testing in a cold room

Mr. Calthorpe conducted tests at the Queensland Brain Institute in UQ and at the Prince Charles Hospital Foundation.

One of the most interesting tests was closing in a cold room.

"I was in shorts and a t-shirt, and they locked me in a room for two hours and lowered the temperature to 10 degrees and put a fan on me," said ABC Radio Brisbane.

"I was told that I would be shaking for the first ten minutes, but then everything would be fine.

"When 10 minutes have passed, I thought:" Fine, I'm not shaking anymore, it's fantastic ", but it lasted only 30 seconds and then I shivered for the next two hours."

Researchers looked at the effects of paracetamol on older people and body temperature.

"If yours [temperature] hypothermia can be too low, "he said.

"When you get older, you pop up more paracetamol and [the researchers] I wanted to see what effect it has. "

"The probe returned my back end"

Some tests require more discomfort than just chills.

During testing, Mr. Calthorpe often has many vital signs monitored.

"I never sit there, I have an oxygen mask, so they can measure oxygen levels and you still have blood pressure," he said.

"I also had a probe that exposed my back end to measure the temperature of my body."

He said that all research must pass security standards and ethical standards before human research begins.

One test included food – but that was not exactly what Mr. Calthorpe expected.

"I thought there would be gourmet food everywhere, but the scientists had 24 eye drops with a clear liquid," he said.

"We had to put them on our language to tell them whether it was salty, sour or sweet."

"Big satisfaction"

The former owner of the tool shop initially thought that when he retired he would jump straight into the journey, but he put it away for a moment.

"We will travel, but I have worked so long and in my field, I have never had time for a hobby," he said.

"I wondered what I would do, but then [clinical trials] he appeared and now I can not keep up with them. "

He said he likes to know that he helps others.

"I really enjoy being aware that I'm doing something that can help people with dementia or Parkinson's disease," he said.

"Most of the ones I did were at the Queensland Brain Institute.

"There is not much personal benefit, more satisfaction makes me aware that I help people in the long run."


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