Headache and Epilepsy

  • Nathan Watemberg
  • Vincenzo Guidetti
Part of the Headache book series (HEAD)


Both headaches and epilepsy received attention in the Bible, in ancient texts, and in scriptures and were addressed to by the forefathers of medicine. Hippocrates around 400 BC provided a detailed description of a man with an aura followed by an intense migraine headache. Epileptic attacks were already described in Babylonian scriptures about 1000 BC. Thereafter, the two entities received significant attention by physicians throughout the centuries. Eventually J.H. Jackson in 1888, before much of the physiology and biochemistry of the central nervous system were discovered, may have been the first to identify the overlap between epilepsy and headaches, as he reported “I have seen cases intermediate in type between migraine, epileptiform seizures and epilepsy proper.” W. Gowers (1907) added to this observation: “migraine is given a place in the borderland of epilepsy, the two maladies are sometimes mistaken, and more often their distinction is difficult” [1].


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pediatric Neurology Unit, Meir Medical CenterTel Aviv University Medical SchoolKfar SabaIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics and Child and Adolescent NeuropsychiatrySapienza University of RomeRomeItaly

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