Throughout history, physicians have approached a disease by recognizing it as an entity, understanding its nature, and searching for its cause. They have devised treatments that flow logically from that understanding. Headache, an ancient and much-studied complaint, has a rich historical literature that illustrates the evolution of our knowledge from the magical to the molecular level.
Five thousand years ago, Mesopotamian physicians viewed headache as a disease entity rather than a symptom and attributed it to an evil spirit named Tiu. A clinical description from that time noted:
Rapoport A, Edmeads J. Migraine: The Evolution of Our Knowledge. Arch Neurol. 2000;57(8):1221–1223. doi:10.1001/archneur.57.8.1221
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.