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Participating in a clinical trial in Canada

If you take any daily medications, or you’ve taken any medications, they’re the result of clinical trials. The pandemic has resulted in most of us hearing more about clinical trials than ever before. Did you know there are always clinical trials going on in Canada? They are a critical step in getting drugs approved in Canada and a lot has to happen before they come to market. There are four phases before Health Canada will give the nod to a pharmaceutical company. Phase one is all about understanding side effects and the safety of the drug. In this phase, there are a small number of participants, around 20-80. Phase two can involve up to 300 people and is all about understanding the impacts on different populations. In phase three, the trial looks at even larger groups, between 1,000 to 3,000 and also determines how the drug works compared to a

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Resonance

Salt, sugar, fat, and dopamine: addicted to the modern world

As we all know, you can have too much of a bad thing like alcohol, drugs, and gambling. This is called addiction. But can you have too much of a good thing? Answer: yes. Sorry about that. You can become addicted to pretty much anything once you need more to get that same hit of pleasure and to avoid the come-down, the inevitable result of too much. Sometimes that “too much” doesn’t have to be so much at all. Especially in our society, where for many people life is a breeze compared to what our ancestors endured. We tool around in our SUVs on the hunt for a great buy or a cool experience. But no matter what we get, it never seems to be enough. We get impatient. Look in the rearview mirror. There might be a person in an over-large, over-powered vehicle glaring at you. They have places

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Health

Can some drugs delay ageing?

Research into pharmaceuticals that can extend life is ramping up. Some existing drugs are proving interesting. In late 2014, a group of world renowned scientists in the study of ageing gathered in Toledo, Spain to discuss this very topic and they’re out to prove it can work. We’re not talking about those fictional stories of dialing back the clock to your twenties, coupled with all that learned wisdom that we’d like to do. This is research into putting on the brakes or at least slowing down the effects of ageing. The focus is mostly around age-related diseases and conditions. Drugs that can delay ageing or stop some diseases from progressing or even starting, could add many healthy years to a person’s life. That has social and economic benefits, including reducing the burden on health care and enabling people to live more productive lives longer. One such hot drug is the

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Health

The future of medication is customized

The days of taking pills designed for a one-size-fits-all approach may soon be at an end. Here’s a look at the future of medicine. Here’s a word you’ll likely being hearing a lot more; pharmacogenomics. So what does it mean? Essentially, it is tailoring a drug medicine to your particular genetics. This could be everything from cholesterol medications through to antidepressants or blood thinners. The word combines pharmaceuticals and genomics. In this fairly new field, doctors look at two main things; 1) how much of a drug is needed to hit the target in your body and 2) how well the targeted cells, such as heart tissue or neurons in your body will respond to a specific dosage. While this has been in development for decades, the cost of sequencing a genome has been so high it wasn’t commercially viable at scale. With the advances in CRISPR technology, the costs

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Health

What is integrated medicine?

I am frequently asked by friends and acquaintances what integrative medicine is all about. Since we’ve all grown up in an environment where conventional medicine is the norm, it’s not surprising that this burgeoning field of medicine is at the same time both exciting and confusing to people. The name integrative medicine pretty much describes what this field is about. Essentially, integrative medicine physicians like to integrate both conventional and alternative medicine treatment options into the care of any given patient. I like to explain it as a method of medicine where we evaluate a patient’s therapeutic options. We like to utilize both conventional and alternative medicine options in such a way that we use what we can from both modalities to achieve an optimal health outcome. In order to do this I like to treat the person as a whole. While some believe it is necessary to segment the

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Health

When anti-depressants aren’t enough

Seventeen years ago, Dr. Stuart Eisendrath piloted research into the therapeutic effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) on people experiencing clinical depression. Ever since, he has been helping those who struggle with depression dramatically improve their symptoms and quality of life by changing how they relate to their thoughts and feelings. In When Antidepressants Aren’t Enough: Harnessing the Power of Mindfulness to Alleviate Depression (New World Library, October 1, 2019), Dr. Eisendrath outlines an easy-to-implement MBCT program that has been scientifically proven in a U.S. National Institute of Health study to bring relief to chronic sufferers of depression by helping them realize that their thoughts are not their reality.  We hope you’ll enjoy this Q and A with him about the book. Q: What is Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)?  A: MBCT is a blend of some aspects of cognitive behavior therapy with mindfulness meditation.   Mindfulness meditation is an ancient Buddhist technique that has been secularized

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