Medicine in the 18th century:

Samuel Auguste A. D. Tissot

(1728 - 1797)

Samuel Auguste A. D. Tissot (1728 - 1797)

Treatise on Epilepsy or the Falling Sickness (1771)

In order to be in a position to cure this disease, one must first take pains to examine whether there is any sympathetic cause which supports it, and what this could be; or whether it is an idiopathic one, that is to say whether it simply stems from an over-sensitivity of the brain...

At last, valerian has fortunately become the favourite remedy of all sensible physicians... I am convinced that, if this does not have an effect, then it is because the malady is incurable.

Correct statement:

  • Differentiation between "idiopathic" and "sympathetic" epilepsies.
    Idiopathic: Epilepsy is mainly caused by an inherent tendency to the disease.
    Sympathetic (symptomatic): The epilepsy is a symptom of a primary disease (e.g. brain tumour, metabolic disturbance, cerebral scarring after injury).

Incorrect statement:

  • Valerian is a good remedy for epilepsy. (Correct: Valerian can have a calming effect, but does not suppress seizures.)

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