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History in Neurology: Seminal Citation
September 1999

Trigeminal Neuralgia

Author Affiliations

From the London Neurological Centre, London, England.



Arch Neurol. 1999;56(9):1163-1164. doi:10.1001/archneur.56.9.1163

Aretaeus of Cappadocia, known for one of the earliest descriptions of migraine,1-3has also been credited with the first indication of trigeminal neuralgia by describing a headache in which "spasm and distortion of the countenance take place."4Several hundred years later, Avicenna (died 1037 AD) described 2 facial syndromes, one of which is "a disease in which the face is pulled unnaturally, its normal shape is distorted, and the natural ability of both lips meeting is inhibited."5This description clearly refers to a facial palsy, but Avicenna's second case history was more indicative of trigeminal neuralgia.

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