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Article

Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus, commonly referred to as diabetes, is a disease in which the body either produces insufficient amounts of insulin or cannot use insulin properly.

Article

Insulin

Insulin is the most potent hormone of fuel storage, affecting carbohydrate, fat and protein throughout the body. Acting through binding to receptors on cell membranes, the principal targets of insulin are in liver, fat and muscle.

Macleans

Book Review: The Drug Trial

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on May 9, 2005. Partner content is not updated.

WARS, EVEN THOSE FOUGHT on principle, are invariably sordid affairs. And so appears to have been the case with the all-out battle waged between Nancy Olivieri, a respected physician and scientist at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, and Apotex, one of Canada's biggest pharmaceutical companies.

Macleans

Drug Trials Controversy

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on December 21, 1998. Partner content is not updated.

By enduring frequent blood transfusions and painful injections that allow a drug to be pumped into her body at night, 14-year-old Julie Vizza has survived a rare blood disease called thalassemia that leaves her body dangerously short of oxygen.

Article

Shaking Tent

Shaking Tent rite was widespread among the Ojibwa, Innu (Montagnais-Naskapi), Cree, Penobscot and Abenaki and involved the shamanistic use of a special cylindrical lodge or tent.

Macleans

Drug Therapy for Strokes

This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on March 20, 2000. Partner content is not updated.

One Saturday morning last November, Peggy Code collapsed outside a suburban Calgary mall. Helped to a nearby bench, the 64-year-old nurse realized she was drooling and that the entire left side of her body was insensate.


Macleans

Viagra Craze

This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on May 4, 1998. Partner content is not updated.

In December, 1994, Lorne had just turned 40 and life was good. Married, he had two young children, a house near Vancouver and a job he enjoyed. Then disaster struck: as he changed a tire on his car beside a roadway, another automobile hit him.


Article

Pandemics in Canada

A pandemic is an outbreak of an infectious disease that affects a large proportion of the population in multiple countries or worldwide. Human populations have been affected by pandemics since ancient times. These include widespread outbreaks of plague, cholera, influenza and, more recently, HIV/AIDS, SARS and COVID-19. In order to slow or stop the spread of disease, governments implement public health measures that include testing, isolation and quarantine. In Canada, public health agencies at the federal, provincial and municipal levels play an important role in monitoring disease, advising governments and communicating to the public.

Article

Nobel Prizes and Canada

The Nobel Prizes are awarded annually for achievements that have significantly benefitted humankind. The prizes are among the highest international honours and are awarded in six categories: physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, peace, and economics. They are administered by the Nobel Foundation and awarded by institutions in Sweden and Norway. Eighteen Canadians have won Nobel Prizes, excluding Canadian-born individuals who gave up their citizenship and members of organizations that have won the peace prize.

Article

SARS in Canada

Canada experienced an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. Most of the infections originated in Toronto hospitals. The outbreak led to the quarantine of thousands, killed 44 people and took an economic toll on Toronto. It also exposed the country’s ill-prepared health-care system. Confusion around SARS fuelled an uptick in anti-Asian and anti-immigrant sentiment.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

Article

Assisted Suicide in Canada

Assisted suicide is the intentional termination of one’s life, assisted by someone who provides the means or knowledge, or both. (See also Suicide.) Between 1892 and 2016, assisted suicide was illegal in Canada under section 241(b) of the Criminal Code. In 2015, after decades of various legal challenges, the Supreme Court of Canada decided unanimously to allow physician-assisted suicide. In June 2016, the federal government passed the Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) Act, which established the eligibility criteria and procedural safeguards for medically assisted suicide. In March 2021, new legislation was passed that expanded eligibility for MAID.

This article contains sensitive material that may not be suitable for all audiences.

Article

The Discovery of Insulin

For many years scientists believed that some kind of internal secretion of the pancreas was the key to preventing diabetes and controlling normal metabolism. No one could find it, until in the summer of 1921 a team at the University of Toronto began trying a new experimental approach suggested by Dr. Frederick Banting.

Article

Cardiac Pacemaker

In 1950, one of Canada’s greatest medical innovations was developed at the University of Toronto’s Banting Institute. Cardiac surgeon, Dr. Wilfred Bigelow and research fellow, Dr. John Carter Callaghan were trying to understand how hypothermia (see Cold-Weather Injuries) could slow the beating of an animal’s heart before surgery. They were also looking for a way to stimulate the heart when it faltered as it cooled. This largely unknown area of research could have tremendous applications for humans. The doctors partnered with Dr. Jack Hopps from the National Research Council of Canada, who created a portable artificial external pacemaker. It was designed to send electric pulses to the heart, which caused the heart to contract and pump blood to the body. The device was successfully tested on a dog in 1950. This landmark discovery paved the way for the use of implantable pacemakers in humans.