The Nervous System in Antiquity

François Pieter Retief, Louise Cilliers


This overview of the development of the nervous system in antiquity, shows that whereas neuroanatomy had its heyday in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC (the Alexandrian School) and was later consolidated by Galen in the 2nd century AD, neurophysiology remained largely mired in erroneous concepts. While the descriptions of neurological disease often produced quite apt clinical pictures, poor understanding of pathophysiology resulted in ineffectual therapy.

Authors' affiliations

François Pieter Retief, University of the Free State

Louise Cilliers, University of the Free State

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Medical history; Neuroanatomy; Neurology

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2008;98(10):768.

Article History

Date submitted: 2007-05-27
Date published: 2008-10-08

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