Tag Archives: epilepsy

Theodor Kocher (1841-1917)

Emil Theodor Kocher. published in 1909 in Les Prix Nobel p. 66. Via Wikimedia. Theodor Kocher was the first surgeon to ever receive the Nobel Prize. He was born in 1841 in Bern, Switzerland, went to school there, and was first in his class. He studied medicine in Bern and graduated summa cum laude, then went […]

Blood is the life

Saameer Pani Sydney, Australia   The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist. Giovanni di Paolo. 1455/60. The Art Institute of Chicago. Vampire—the  very  word  itself  conjures  up  images  of  supernatural  creatures  who  look  not  unlike  you  and  me,  prowl  about  at  night, prey on unsuspecting souls, and sink their fangs into innumerable, hapless victims to […]

Catalepsy

Catalepsy has been defined as a trance or seizure with a loss of sensation and consciousness accompanied by rigidity of the body. It may occur in neurological diseases such as Parkinsonism and epilepsy, also following the withdrawal from certain drugs such as cocaine. These images are part of a series of observations made in an […]

William Richard Gowers MD., FRS.

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig. 1 Gowers’ Manual. A Manual of Diseases of the Nervous System. J London: J. & A. Churchill 1886 The name Gowers is a name hallowed in the minds of most neurologists as one of the great founders of neurological medicine in the Victorian era. He is probably best remembered […]

Mental illness in art

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Corridor in the Asylum. Vincent can Gogh. 1889. Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is often said that creative art is linked to eccentricity, sometimes bordering on madness. Examples abound of great musicians, writers, and artists who at some time in their lives were deranged and often committed to institutions for […]

“If it be a poor man”: medieval medical treatment for the rich and poor

Erin Connelly Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   “Urine Wheel,” Almanack, Free Library of Philadelphia – The Rosenbach, MS 1004/29, fol. 9 C (York, England, 1364), courtesy of Bibliotheca Philadelphiensis. OPenn Repository Great disparities in wealth and differences in access to healthcare between the top and bottom of society are hardly new experiences in human history.1-4 […]

Faith, neuroscience, and “the thorn” in Paul’s side: Abrahamic interpretations of epilepsy

Christina Perri Stony Brook, New York, USA   Despite the stigma surrounding epilepsy in the Abrahamic faith traditions, some Christian art uses the boy with epilepsy as a visual metaphor for the Passion. As the boy appears to die and rise from a seizure, so too Christ dies and rises to Heaven. The experience of […]

Pushing back at perceptions of epilepsy: the interplay between medicine and literature in three 19th-century British novels

Laura Fitzpatrick New York, United States If I wished to show a student the difficulties of getting at truth from medical experience, I would give him the history of epilepsy to read. —Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1891.1 As the nineteenth century dawned, the average Briton still understood epilepsy much in the way his ancient Greek counterpart […]

Edgar Allan Poe – a tormented literary genius

Donna J. A. Olson Whitelaw, Alberta Edgar Allan Poe, 1809-1849 A man attempts to hide from his sins and ultimately from himself. A murderer takes an old man’s life and hides the body under the floorboards. But he cannot silence his guilt, so he keeps on hearing the dead man’s heart in his room. This […]