When was trigeminal neuralgia (TN) first described?

Updated: Jul 11, 2019
  • Author: Manish K Singh, MD; Chief Editor: Robert A Egan, MD  more...
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Answer

The clinical description of trigeminal neuralgia can be traced back more than 300 years. Aretaeus of Cappadocia, known for one of the earliest descriptions of migraine, is credited with the first indication of trigeminal neuralgia when he described a headache in which "spasms and distortions of the countenance took place." Nicholaus Andre coined the term tic douloureux in 1756.

John Fothergill was the first to give a full and accurate description of this condition in a paper titled "On a Painful Affliction of the Face," which he presented to the medical society of London in 1773. Osler also described trigeminal neuralgia in great and accurate detail in his 1912 book The Principles and Practice of Medicine. [3]

In 1900, in a landmark article, Cushing reported a method of total ablation of the gasserian ganglion to treat trigeminal neuralgia.

See also Trigeminal Neuralgia Surgery.


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