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RCP: Medicine, music and the mind

The Royal College of Physicians has launched the latest edition of its journal. This month, we launch a new series on musical links to medicine. Our editorial looks at the universality of music, and introduces the idea to explore the interface between music and the brain.

Also in this months' journal, our Concise Guidelines section focuses on chronic spinal cord injury (SCI), and the management of patients in acute hospital settings. The guidelines include advice about staff awareness and training, and assessment and management of patients with spinal cord injury.

Editor Professor Robert Allan says of the journal "I am delighted to launch our new series on music. Throughout the year we will be publishing a fascinating series of essays by a number of distinguished contributors on this topic, which will explore the interface between music and the brain".

Notes to Editors

Clinical Medicine is published bimonthly. Circulated to almost 20,000 subscribers nationally and internationally and with 300 library subscribers, the journal is read by leading physicians in hospitals across the world. It features articles covering original research, current issues, ethics, law, clinical governance and audit, and also reports on prestigious College lectures and conferences.

A summary of the two features from Clinical Medicine February 2008 are as follows:

Medicine, music and the mind

Author: Jason Warren, Honorary Consultant Neurologist

No one has ever died for lack of music, but nevertheless for many people a life without music would hardly be worth living. The intersection of medicine, music and the mind is the theme in a new series for Clinical Medicine, which will capitalise on the recent explosion of interest in both the scientific and clinical communities, driven in turn by the extraordinary technical advances of the new brain imaging services. The series will also include the perception of music, neurological problems unique to performing musicians and the nature of musical genius.

Chronic spinal cord injury: management of patients in acute hospital settings

Authors: Angela Gall and Lynne Turner-Stokes, on behalf of the Guideline Development Group

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a lifelong condition affecting over 40,000 people in the UK. When an individual with established SCI is admitted to hospital for a procedure or because of illness, hospital teams need to manage both the acute condition and the spinal cord injury. These guidelines aim to assist in their assessment and management to avoid the common problems of hospital-acquired morbidity in this potentially vulnerable group of people.

If you would like a full copy of Clinical Medicine, or for further information about the articles, please contact Lucy Widenka, Press and Public Affairs Officer, telephone 020 7935 1174 ext.468 or email lucy.widenka@rcplondon.ac.uk

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