Dexter, who is using his involvement in research to encourage other young people to take part

Dexter’s Laboratory: Nottingham patient, 11, aims to get more young people involved in research

Date: 07 February 2019

An eczema patient from Nottingham is looking to use his own experience to encourage other young people to take part in research.

Dexter Hutton, 11 years old from Mapperley, recently took part in the TREAT study, which is exploring whether new treatments can improve conditions for children suffering with a severe form of eczema.

The study, led nationally by King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), saw Dexter take part at Queen’s Medical Centre, joining seven other young people taking part in Nottingham.

Participants are working with researchers to test two drugs used to treat eczema, undergoing regular tests and keeping a diary to record the effect on their condition. The findings will help to inform the treatment that patients receive in the future.

Dexter’s first exposure to research has sparked his interest and he is now looking for other studies that he can take part in. Driven by his desire to help other people, he says that he would encourage his friends to take part in research too.

Dexter said: “I want to help make treatment better for people in the future and help other children with eczema. The research nurses were very good at making sure I knew what was going on and helping me see what impact the treatment was having.

“At first I didn’t know what to expect and was a bit scared but the research nurses made it really easy and looked after me. They told me why they do research and what difference it makes so I want to do what I can to help them get better medicine for people who need help.”

Meanwhile, Dexter wants to use his experience in research to make other young people aware of what it is like from a patient perspective.

In order to help raise the profile of research amongst a younger audience, he will be working in partnership with the Clinical Research Network (CRN) East Midlands to create some materials explaining what taking part in research is really like.

He added: “Not everyone knows what research is and it can sound really scary. But I think lots of young people would want to take part if they knew what it was really like. Sometimes it can sound really complicated so I want to help make it easier for people to find out what they’ll have to do it and why it matters.”



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    Learn about how Dexter's participation in research had got him determined to get more young people involved
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