Definition of Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a syndrome characterized by disturbance in electrical activity of brain with subsequent
impairment of loss of consciousness, abnormal motor activity, psychic, sensory and autonomic nervous
History of Epilepsy
Epilepsy has a history before the birth of Lord Jesus and was known to Romans and Greeks. It is one of the earliest known
maladies. Its mention is is found the papyrus scroll dating back to 1500 BC. Hippocrates was the
first person to dispel the myth of epilepsy, as not being caused by devils & spirits. The word of
epilepsy is origin meaning attacked or seized. Its mention in the bible is proof of its antiquity.
Although it has a long history nothing much was done about its management till the eighteenth century
in the year 1857.
Sir, Charles Leacock tried a sedative that helped to reduce seizures. Taking cue from him John Hollings
Jackson, In 1870, mentioned that epilepsy arose in the cerebral cortex-the outer layer of the brain
.Since then a lot of work, both electrical impulses of the brain. In the year 1930, the development
of Dilantin was regarded as major breakthrough in understanding the syndrome of epilepsy. The surprising
part is that the drugs which we today classify as anti-epilepsy drugs (AEDs) were already in general
use and the discovery of their effect on epilepsy was only a chance.
Some of History’s well-known personalities have been sufferers of this dreaded disease. Alexander
the Great, Julius Caesar and Napoleon were a few commanders afflicted by epilepsy. Well-Known writers
like Charles discknes, Flaubert, Tchaikovsky,Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Van Gogh, the well –known painter
were victims of this ailmen, Alfred nobel, Richard burton, Martin luther king, Bryan also suffered
from this disease.
A Number of world-Class Player likes Jonty Rhodes and Tony Grieg are also suffering from this disease.
In India there was hardly any literature available on epilepsy. The Myths and Stories about the
disease have made it taboo. According to some religious beliefs, Ghosts and demons are the cause
of this problem. People will go even to extremes like bringing home an exorcist to remove the spirits
and in due course the patient also starts behaving like a person who is down with effects of evil
Modern science has destroyed nearly all the myth and today we know that epilepsy has a origin like
any other disease. The cause can be traced and excellent treatment pursued.