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07.08.2019 | History of Neurology | Ausgabe 1/2020

Neurological Sciences 1/2020

Uterine epilepsy: a historical report from Avicenna’s point of view

Neurological Sciences > Ausgabe 1/2020
Fatemeh Zali, Mohsen Bahrami, Elham Akhtari
Wichtige Hinweise
This paper is part of a PhD thesis by Dr. F. Zali.

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Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder, the history of which dates back to thousands of years ago. Avicenna (980–1037 AD) is a famous Persian scholar who considered different types of epilepsy and their specific treatments. His book Al-Qanun fi al-Tibb was taught in Europe for several years. Along with explaining the diseases occurring in various body organs, the book describes neurological and neuropsychological conditions such as epilepsy


This article is a review of the book Al-Qanun fi al-Tibb and some of the traditional Persian medicine sources, including Kāmil al-Sināa al Tibbiya and Makhzan-O-L Advieh, on uterine epilepsy, its etiology, clinical manifestations and treatments. Also, articles related to this topic in the field of traditional Persian medicine or historical articles have been searched for in Google Scholar search engine or PubMed database.


Avicenna categorizes the causes of epilepsy into two main groups: those caused by brain diseases and those associated with the diseases of other organs. He believed that the stomach, the spleen, the maraqq, the uterus, or other body organs influence the brain and can cause epilepsy. In uterine epilepsy, the primary pathology lies with the uterus and can affect the brain. This condition occurs due to the retention of the menses or semen.


In this historical article, we intend to explain Avicenna’s viewpoint on uterine epilepsy. We suggest further studies on this topic, for example, to evaluate the frequency of epilepsy in patients with the retention of the menses or the semen.

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