May 1, 2018

Historical Article: Classification of Epilepsies in the 18th Century

Classifications provide “a framework on which to conceptualize knowledge and research” through organisation of items according to their fundamental relationships; they also allow standardised communication among the scientific community, and they tailor patient-oriented treatment decisions.

Throughout history, several attempts have been made to organise epileptic seizures and epilepsies into clinical categories for diagnostic purposes, epilepsy research, development of antiepileptic therapies, and communication around the world. The International League Against Epilepsy has made several proposals of classification from 1969 onwards, culminating in a new epilepsy classification (2017). This article provides historical perspective on the classification of epilepsies in the 18th century.

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