History of Neurological Disorders in Persian Medicine

Document Type: Review


Shefa Neuroscience Research Center, Tehran, Iran


Many studies concerning Persian history have been performed. Persian physicians and scientists greatly contributed to medical sciences by their own observations, experimentations and skills through more than seven thousand years of Persian history. In Persian medieval medicine, different fields were described. Among these fields, neurological disorders, especially headache and epilepsy were explained in details. Medieval Persian physicians described the treatment of headache using many substances with different modes of actions. They attributed the therapeutic actions of plants to a specific analgesic, sedative or prophylactic drug property of variable strength. They also defined the epilepsy as a manifestation which begins suddenly, although premonitory symptoms, such as weakness, epigastric pressure or pain, depression, tongue paresthesia, spreading extremities paresthesia, sudden shock, incoherent speech, nightmare and sandness may start before the attacks. Medieval Persian physicians accumulated all the existing information on medicine at that time and added to this knowledge their own observations with the introduction of many new remedies. Such information provides comprehensive data on clinical treatments based on centuries of experience in the field of headache and epilepsy, and thus might help the testing of the probable benefits of these remedies for the treatment of cephalagia and epilepsy.