Historical and cross-cultural perspectives on Parkinson's disease

Lee Xenakis Blonder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder, affecting up to 10 million people worldwide according to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation. Epidemiological and genetic studies show a preponderance of idiopathic cases and a subset linked to genetic polymorphisms of a familial nature. Traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda recognized and treated the illness that Western Medicine terms PD millennia ago, and descriptions of Parkinson's symptomatology by Europeans date back 2000 years to the ancient Greek physician Galen. However, the Western nosological classification now referred to in English as "Parkinson's disease" and the description of symptoms that define it, are accredited to British physician James Parkinson, who in 1817 authored The Shaking Palsy. Later in the nineteenth century, French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot re-labeled paralysis agitans "Parkinson's disease" and over a century of scientific research ensued. This review discusses European, North American, and Asian contributions to the understanding and treatment of PD from ancient times through the twentieth century.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20160065
JournalJournal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.

Keywords

  • Parkinson's disease
  • alternative medicine
  • ayurvedic medicine
  • history of medicine
  • therapeutics
  • traditional Chinese medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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