Pápai Páriz Ferenc and the Neurological Disorders

Written by Bereczki Dániel, Szatmári Szabolcs

Pax Corporis, a Hungarian textbook written by Pápai Páriz Ferenc in 1690 contains chapters describing the most frequent symptoms and diseases related to the central nervous system. Addressed to the lay readers there are detailed descriptions of headache - differentiating migraine and tension type headaches, dizziness, stroke, meningoencephalitis and epilepsy. It denotes the central origin of dizziness, distinguishes the focal and generalized seizures, and declares the cerebral cause of epilepsy in an era when sorcery and demonic procession was generally accepted. The four cardinal signs of Parkinson’s disease: tremor, bradykinesis, rigor and postural instability were described by Pápai over 125 years before the classical description of James Parkinson. Contrary to Parkinson, who promoted the cervical medullar origin of this disease, Pápai recognized the cerebral cause. Pax Corporis was written in Hungarian; hence its descriptions have been mentioned in the international medical literature only from 2010.


Keywords: Pax corporis, Pápai Páriz Ferenc, history of neurology, Parkinson’s disease

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