The word epilepsy is derived from the Greek verb epilambanein, meaning to be seized, to be overwhelmed by surprise (The History and Stigma of Epilepsy, 2003; Temkin, 1971). Epilepsy is a relatively common brain disorder ? affecting between 0.5 to 1 percent of the world's population yet it is often surrounded by prejudice and myth. Historically, one of the most influential figures in epilepsy research is John Hughlings Jackson (1835-1911). More than anyone else, Jackson is responsible for the modern understanding of epilepsy. More importantly, by introducing the concept that epilepsy is but a symptom and not a disease, Jackson brought about social and psychological change to the world. By viewing epilepsy as simply a medical condition, he helped to finally abandon all residues of belief that its occurrence is determined by influences of supernatural origin. This, in turn, indirectly improved the lives of countless people with epilepsy.
[...] John Hughlings Jackson was the son of Samuel Jackson, a farmer, and Sarah Hughlings, the daughter of a Welsh revenue collector. His mother died just over a year after giving birth to him. Jackson attended small country schools, and little is known of this period of his early life. At the age of fifteen, he was apprenticed to a Dr. Anderson, a lecturer at the no longer existent York Hospital Medical School in England. He later completed his medical education at St. [...]
[...] In closing, John Hughlings Jackson is one of the most influential neuroscientists in history. Not only did he construct definitions and theories about epilepsy that we still use today, he also brought about positive social change for people with epilepsy. REFERENCES Commission on Classification and Terminology of the International League Against Epilepsy. (1981). Proposal for revised clinical and electrocephalographic classification of epileptic seizures. Epilepsia 489-501. Commission on Classification and Terminology of the International League Against Epilepsy. (1985). Proposal for classification of epilepsies and epileptic syndromes. [...]
[...] Obituary notices of fellows deceased. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series Containing Papers of a Biological Character, Vol No (Mar.12, 1912), pp. i-xxvii. Eadie, M. J. and Bladin, P.F. (2001). A disease once sacred A history of the medical understanding of epilepsy. Eastleigh, England: John Libbey & Company Ltd. Fritsch, G. and Hitzig, E. (1870) Uber die elektrische erregbarkeit des grosshirns. Archiv fur Anatomie und Physiologie:300-332. Gastaut, H. (1969). Clinical and electrocephalographic classification of epileptic seizures. Epilepsia, 10(Suppl), S2-S21. Jackson, J.H. [...]
[...] Selected writings of John Hughlings Jackson. Vol 1 London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1932:1-7. Jackson, J.H. (1870). A study of convulsions. Transactions of the St. Andrews Medical Graduates Association 3:162-204 : reprinted in Taylor J (1958a loc. cit.) pp 8-36. Lannon, S.L. (2002). Free standing: social control and the sane epileptic, 1850-1950. History of Neurology 1031-1036. Melville, I. D. (1982). The medical treatment of epilepsy: a historical review. In F.C. Rose and W. F. Bynum (Eds.), Historical aspects of the neurosciences (pp.127-136). [...]
[...] HISTORY OF EPILEPSY UP TO HUGHLINGS JACKSON Throughout time, the drama and mystery of epilepsy have gripped medical, religious, and social attention. The history of epilepsy epitomizes the long struggle between magical and scientific concepts of disease, and only over the last two centuries has epilepsy been truly understood scientifically (Temkin, 1971). One of the earliest depictions of epilepsy was found in France, and they where stone-age cave paintings portraying individuals with epilepsy (Eadie & Bladin, 2001). In addition, there is an Akkadian text from 2000 B.C. [...]
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