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Headaches: Through the Centuries

By Mervyn J. Eadie

Emeritus Professor of Clinical Neurology and Neuropharmacology

Honorary Research Consultant

University of Queensland

Brisbane, Australia

Headache: Through the Centuries illuminates the history of headaches with a particular interest in how the disorder has been understood and treated since the earliest recorded accounts, dating from around 4000 BC. Different types of headache were being recognized as early as the 2nd century AD. Over the years, though, the classification of types of headache has changed so that headache patterns described in the past are often difficult to relate to present-day types of headache. Since that time, a great deal of material on the topic has become available, the full gamut of manifestations of the disorder has been described, and considerable insight into its mechanisms has been obtained, though no completely satisfactory explanation of the disorder has yet become available. Providing an extensive history and the development of our understanding of headache over the course of six millennia, Headache: Through the Centuries is thought-provoking and relevant reading for neurologists, medical historians, and anyone interested in headaches.

Reviews –

"Nobody is better suited to provide a history of headache than Mervyn Eadie, a distinguished neurologist, historian and established author. Here he provides a beautifully written, lucid account of headaches from the time of ancient Greece and Egypt to 2000 AD. He describes classification, ancient and medieval descriptions and the primitive ideas of the causes of headache. Later notions of the clinical phenomena, pathogenesis and treatment are systematically considered in detail, with a good selection of references. Eadie's text, covers the important primary headaches. It is thorough, informative, and in places, suitably contemplative. It is destined to be a classic." -- JMS Pearce, MD., FRCP, Emeritus Consultant Neurologist, Hull Royal Infirmary, Yorkshire, England

"This book, written by a lifetime student of headache, Professor Emeritus Mervyn J. Eadie fills a big gap in the headache literature. With admirable control of the old literature, Professor Eadie describes past developments in headache classification, clinical description, pathophysiology and treatment of the most important primary headaches and cranial neuralgias. It is exciting to discover how far intellectual reasoning could take headache science in past times where possibilities for experimental verification were very small. Reading this book is not only entertaining but also provides a wealth of thoughts and new ideas for those who are today studying headache or treating headache patients. I strongly recommend this volume." -- Jes Olesen, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurology, Danish Headache Center, Department of Neurology, Glostrup Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark and Editor-in-Chief, Frontiers in Headache Research Series

"Headache rarely destroys life but can destroy many of the joys and pleasures of life for its victims and even attract the scorn of those who are blessed with immunity from headache and lack understanding. There is an intriguing story to be told of one of mankind's greatest scourges throughout the ages and the attempts to elucidate its mysteries. Who better to tell the story than Mervyn Eadie who brings many skills to this task as a clinical neurologist, pharmacologist, teacher, historian and editor? EL. All those active in the field, whether headache sufferers or the doctors that care for them, will find items of interest and maybe sources of inspiration in this rich collection of thoughts from the past." -- Prof James W Lance, AO, CBE, MD, DSc (Hon), FRCP (Lond), FRACP FAA, Prof Emeritus of Neurology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia and Past-President of the International Headache Society

"Headache: Through the Centuries is a magisterial analysis of contemporary ideas on headache set in the context of their long and complex histories. Writing both from the perspective of distinguished neurologist with a lifetime of clinical experience and accomplished medical historian, Mervyn Eadie sits his readers firmly in the headache clinic of the 21st century and then escorts us across an historical landscape where [he] celebrates contributions of the many luminaries who signposted the road to modernity but also uses his eclectic and encyclopaedic reading to bring several less well-known figures to our attention." -- Alastair Compston, Professor of Neurology, University of Cambridge, UK and Editor of Brain

"Of many books and essays devoted to the history of migraine, this in my opinion yields the best and most assiduous compilation and criticism, quoting many investigators of headache whose work has been unrecognized or neglected. It is a delight to browse and learn from this elegant, well-written text... This work is destined to be a classic." -- J.M.S Pearce, Brain: A Journal of Neurology

Extracts at Google Books are a great read -



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Definitely agree with you. ;) 

Once upon a time before being properly diagnosed I took tylenol by the handfulls.  I knew it was going to blow out my kidneys or liver, but didn't care.  Anything to take the pain down a notch.  I just got lucky it didn't catch up with me.  Remember easily taking 6 to 8+ tylenol at a time.

Wonder if the king really had clusters?  That might explain his supposed drug use quite a bit.



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