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Lancet Neurol. 2002 Dec;1(8):510-5.

History of headache in medieval Persian medicine.

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Institut für Physiologie, Universität Münster, Münster, Germany.


Despite the many studies into the history of headache, the ways in which the disorder was treated in medieval Persia are not well known in the west. Several documents still exist from which the definitions and treatments of headache in medieval Persia can be ascertained. These documents give detailed and precise clinical information on different types of headache. The medieval doctors listed various signs and symptoms, apparent causes, and hygienic and dietary rules for prevention of headaches. The medieval writings are both accurate and vivid, and they provide long lists of substances used in the treatment of headaches. Many of the approaches of physicians in medieval Persia are accepted today; however, still more of them could be of use to modern medicine. The main objective of this paper is to review the clinical approaches to headache used by practitioners in medieval Persia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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