Alexander Pope (1688-1744): his spinal deformity and his doctors. (1/24)

Alexander Pope was the towering figure of 18th century England. A poet and a wit he commanded unswerving loyalty from his friends and penetrating hatred from his enemies. His spinal deformity, either due to tuberculosis, trauma or congenital weakness, shaped his career. This brief report highlights the illness and the medical men who were involved in treating Alexander Pope.  (+info)

Hans Zinsser: a tale of two cultures. (2/24)

Hans Zinsser, president of the Society of American Bacteriologists in 1926, was known as much for his literary and textbook writing as for his scientific contributions. He was a widely known scientist and person of letters. His early interests in poetry and other forms of literature were maintained and developed during his career as a microbiologist, and his most enduring legacy is based on his writing about microbiology for a general readership as well as his reflective and philosophical autobiography.  (+info)

The marriage of art and science in health care. (3/24)

This paper invites the reader to consider the marriage of art and science as antidote to much epidemic disease, for our greater personal and societal health. The history of arts medicine is reviewed, identifying its persisting although often tenuous link with health care from pre-history to the present. The author describes his personal encounter with art at the bedside, and how it led to his establishing a comprehensive artist-in-residence program at his university hospital. The scientific evidence underscoring the efficacy of art-making for physical and psychological health are outlined, together with the physiological and biochemical data. The author describes his own program, and offers examples of healing art in action.  (+info)

Epilepsy neurosurgery: a patient's perspective. (4/24)

Contemplation of epilepsy neurosurgery for a patient with lifetime epilepsy poses difficult decisions and can be quite fearful. As epileptologists, we often do not appreciate the degree of patients' concerns, especially whether quality of life could be worsened by surgical complications. In this poem, a patient lyrically describes this dilemma.  (+info)

The medical career of Robert Seymour Bridges, FRCP (1844-1930): physician and Poet Laureate. (5/24)

Robert Bridges OM is the only medical graduate (he was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of London in 1900) to have held the office of Poet Laureate. Educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford and St Bartholomew's Hospital he practised as a casualty physician at his teaching hospital (where he made a series of highly critical remarks of the Victorian medical establishment) and subsequently as a full physician to the Great (later Royal) Northern Hospital. He was also a physician to the Hospital for Sick Children. It had for long been his intention to retire from the medical profession at the early age of 40! In 1913, Bridges was appointed Poet Laureate by King George V, and following a disappointingly sparse output of "official" work, published his greatest literary contribution-The Testament of Beauty-on his 85th birthday.  (+info)

Hugh Downman, MD (1740-1809) of Exeter and his poem on infant care. (6/24)

Hugh Downman is best remembered for his poem on the care of infants in which he stressed the importance of breast feeding and proper examination.  (+info)

Oscillations of heart rate and respiration synchronize during poetry recitation. (7/24)

The objective of this study was to investigate the synchronization between low-frequency breathing patterns and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) of heart rate during guided recitation of poetry, i.e., recitation of hexameter verse from ancient Greek literature performed in a therapeutic setting. Twenty healthy volunteers performed three different types of exercises with respect to a cross-sectional comparison: 1). recitation of hexameter verse, 2). controlled breathing, and 3). spontaneous breathing. Each exercise was divided into three successive measurements: a 15-min baseline measurement (S1), 20 min of exercise, and a 15-min effect measurement (S2). Breathing patterns and RSA were derived from respiratory traces and electrocardiograms, respectively, which were recorded simultaneously using an ambulatory device. The synchronization was then quantified by the index gamma, which has been adopted from the analysis of weakly coupled chaotic oscillators. During recitation of hexameter verse, gamma was high, indicating prominent cardiorespiratory synchronization. The controlled breathing exercise showed cardiorespiratory synchronization to a lesser extent and all resting periods (S1 and S2) had even fewer cardiorespiratory synchronization. During spontaneous breathing, cardiorespiratory synchronization was minimal and hardly observable. The results were largely determined by the extent of a low-frequency component in the breathing oscillations that emerged from the design of hexameter recitation. In conclusion, recitation of hexameter verse exerts a strong influence on RSA by a prominent low-frequency component in the breathing pattern, generating a strong cardiorespiratory synchronization.  (+info)

First person account: how insight poetry helped me to overcome my illness. (8/24)

The article that follows is part of the Schizophrenia Bulletin's ongoing First Person Account series. We hope that mental health professionals--the Bulletin's primary audience--will take this opportunity to learn about the issues and difficulties confronted by consumers of mental health care. In addition, we hope that these accounts will give patients and families a better sense of not being alone in confronting the problems that can be anticipated by persons with serious emotional difficulties. We welcome other contributions from patients, ex-patients, or family members. Our major editorial requirement is that such contributions be clearly written and organized, and that a novel or unique aspect of schizophrenia be described, with special emphasis on points that will be important for professionals. Clinicians who see articulate patients with experiences they believe should be shared might encourage these patients to submit their articles to Schizophrenia Bulletin, First Person Accounts, EEI Communications, 66 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314.--The Editors.  (+info)