What advances will medical science make in the 60s? Maclean’s polled leading doctors, researchers and drug experts in Canada and elsewhere and heard these predictions:
Don’t expect a cure for cancer, but watch for news of drugs that arrest some types and prolong life while alleviating pain from others. Improved “bombs" and better4 ways of using them will make radiation more effective too.
You’ll also have less to fear from: Heart and blood-vessel diseases: Drugs may be developed to prevent: 1, hardening of the arteries; 2, diseases leading to rheumatic fever. “Deep-freeze” operations (for surgery to arteries) will be made easier, safer and commoner — possibly through the use of a single drug injection. Mechanical hearts will likely be used often while ailing hearts are recovering, “We’re close to cracking some of the deepest mysteries of our No. 1 killer,” says Dr. John B. Armstrong, medical director of the National Heart Foundation of Canada.
Mental illness: Some researchers hope to find a toxic substance (produced by the body) to blame for some serious mental illnesses. “We’ve already got valuable clues as to what this substance may be,” says Dr. Humphry Osmond, of the Saskatchewan Committee on Schizophrenia Research. Brain surgeons may improve on “knifeless surgery,” using a proton ray to remove unwanted brain tissue by bombardment. Other possibilities: drugs to correct mental deficiencies before birth, others to improve a person’s brain pow'er or control his behavior for long periods.
Allergies: Doctors may be able to protect a child for life against a wide range of allergies, either by inoculating his mother during pregnancy or injecting an “allergy cocktail” into him at birth.
The common cold: Doctors hope by the early 60s to have vaccines to prevent 70% of all types of colds—caused by streptococcus bacteria. Tougher to conquer, colds due to allergies or psychosomatic causes will still be widespread.
Doctors will lose many of their inhibitions about treatment by hypnosis, and you may be trying pills for new purposes —to keep warm in winter or cool in summer.
Will new preventives and cures pay off in longevity? Over the next 25 years, life expectancy will increase by 10 years to 76 for men, 81 for women.
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