Medicine in the 18th century

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.
  Sympathic (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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