A Comparitive Study of Epilepsy in Galenic, Medieval Persian and Modern Medicine
AbstractEpilepsy is an interesting neurological disorder that exists at the crossroads of biology and spirituality. This research examined the transmission of Greek theories of epilepsy from the ninth to the thirteenth century Persian medicine and compared it to the understanding of epilepsy in modern medicine. The influence of Galenic medicine on the clinical understanding of epilepsy in medieval Persian medicine (800-1400) is evident in Ibn Sina's (aka Avicenna) medical manuscripts. Given the complex technological advancements from 13th century to 21st century, substantial progression in the understanding of epilepsy from Avicennian period to modern era was expected to find. However, modern medicine is yet to crack the full codes of this "sacred" disease. Tracing the scientific history of epilepsy reveals that today's identified etiology, symptomatology, and treatments for epilepsy, which hugely benefited from the technological advancements in diagnostic means, are extensions to the medieval understanding of epilepsy. This paper is a comparative study of epilepsy in Galenic, medieval Persian and modern medicine. On a broad scale, this research serves as an example on how ideas connect people through time.
AffiliationDepartment of Psychological Sciences
Department of History, Anthropology & Philosophy