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Neurological Sciences

, Volume 39, Issue 7, pp 1283–1287 | Cite as

Epilepsy in popular Medicine from the Classic Age to the Modern Age: a study on elk hoof as an original treatment

  • Antonio Tagarelli
  • Anna Piro
History of Neurology
  • 43 Downloads

Abstract

European people believed that epilepsy was both a sacred and demoniac disease in the pre- and post-Hippocratic Age, and this belief continued into the Christian era. Epilepsy was wrapped in mystery. The present work shows an epileptic treatment using elk (Alces alces) hoof, which was better known among Northern European people, and explains its historical and popular origins that lead to its importance and success within the Official Medicine in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries until its gradual decline as a specific treatment in the subsequent centuries. We study authors from both Antiquity and the Modern Age. The present work concludes by highlighting the relationship between epilepsy and its magic-religious inheritance. It could be considered a valid example showing how a popular treatment can earn honors in the Official Pharmacopoeia, but later be excluded.

Keywords

Popular Medicine Epilepsy Hoof elk Epilepsy treatment 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Researches Council, Research SectionInstitute of Molecular Bioimaging and PhysiologyCatanzaroItaly

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