The ancients made few contributions to the knowledge of neuralgic diseases in general and of facial pains in particular. Avicenna gave the first accurate description of facial neuralgia in the year 1000, but failed to recognize its relation to the fifth cranial nerve. He recommended treatment by scarification, blood-letting and aperients. Krause1 mentioned that Van Swieten, about 1700, accurately described a case of neuralgia of the supra-orbital nerve, which he cured by the application of cinchona.
In 1756, André2 described facial neuralgia as being due to a definite involvement of specific nerves, and it was he who first used the term tic douloureux. It remained, however, for John Fothergill,3 an English physician, to give the first complete description of trigeminal neuralgia in his monograph on "Painful Affections of the Face." He suspected that "the cause of these extreme pains in the face might possibly be of a