Opening Address

Conference paper

Abstract

A hereditary component has often been discussed as being one of the causes of epilepsy. A historical review of this idea must start with Hippocrates, who emphasized that epilepsy was hereditary in his book “On the Holy Disease”. We might consider it paradoxical today that he considered the concept of hereditary disease an argument against a contemporary prejudice — that epilepsy had a supernatural cause. Hippocrates argued that epilepsy was not in any way “holier” than other diseases, because it was hereditary and could even be found in animals. Today, 2500 years later, the generally accepted scientific opinion is that epilepsy is a disease with a hereditary disposition rather than an inevitable “curse.”

Keywords

Mane Sonal 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Conrad K (1935) Erbanlage und Epilepsie. I. Untersuchungen an einer Serie von 253 Zwillingspaaren. Z Neurol 153: 271–326Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Conrad K (1936a) Erbanlage und Epilepsie. II. Ein Beitrag zur Zwillingskasuistik. Die konkordanten Eineiigen. Z Neurol 155: 254–297Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Conrad K (1936b) Erbanlage und Epilepsie. III. Ein Beitrag zur Zwillingskasuistik. Die diskordanten Eineiigen. Z Neurol 155: 509–542Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Conrad K (1937) Erbanlage und Epilepsie. IV. Ergebnisse einer Nachkommenschaftsuntersuchung an Epileptikern (Zur empirischen Erbprognose der Epilepsie). Z Neurol 159: 521–581Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Doose H, Gerken H, Völzke E (1968) Genetics of centrencephalic epilepsy in childhood. Epilepsia 9: 107–115PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Doose H, Gerken H, Horstmann T, Völzke E (1973) Genetic factors in spike-wave absences. Epilepsia 14: 57–75PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Harvald B (1951) On the genetic prognosis of epilepsy. Acta Psychiatr Scand 26: 339–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Harvald B (1954) Heredity in epilepsy. An electroencephalographic study of relatives of epileptics. Munksgaard, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lennox WG (1947) The genetics of epilepsy. Am J Psychiatry 103: 457–462PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lennox WG (1951) The heredity of epilepsy as told by relatives and twins. JAMA 146: 529–536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lennox WG, Gibbs EL, Gibbs FA (1939) The inheritance of epilepsy as revealed by the electroencephalograph. JAMA 113: 1002–1003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lundborg H (1903) Die progressive Myoklonus-Epilepsie (Unverricht’s Myoklonie). Almquist and Wiksel, UppsalaGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Metrakos JD, Metrakos K (1960) Genetics of convulsive disorders. I. Introduction, problems, methods and baselines. Neurology 10: 228–240Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Metrakos K, Metrakos JD (1961) Genetics of convulsive disorders. II. Genetic and electroencephalographic studies in centrencephalic epilepsy. Neurology 11: 474–483PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Unverricht H (1891) Die Myoklonie. Deuticke, LeipzigGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Unverricht H (1895) Über familiäre Myoklonie. Dtsch Z Nervenheilkd 7: 32–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Janz
    • 1
  1. 1.Neurologische AbteilungUniversitätsklinikum Rudolf Virchow, Freie Universität BerlinBerlin 19Germany

Personalised recommendations