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Int Marit Health. 2014;65(2):65-7. doi: 10.5603/IMH.2014.0015.

The "torpedo" effect in medicine.

Author information

1
Department of History of Medicine, Medical School, University of Athens, Greece. mkaramanou@med.uoa.gr.

Abstract

The natural electrical phenomena fascinated humans since antiquity. The electrical discharges produced by the torpedo fish were highly appreciated among ancient physicians as Hippocrates, Scribonius Largus and Galen and were prescribed for headache, gout and prolapsed anus. In the medieval period, torpedo's electrical properties were attributed to occult powers, while Renaissance physicians' and scientists' studied the anatomy and mechanical nature of the provoked shock paving the way for the discovery of the electrical nature of torpedo's activity and the evolution of electrotherapy.

PMID:
25231328
DOI:
10.5603/IMH.2014.0015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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