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Table of Contents
Vol. 55, No. 1, 2006
Issue release date: February 2006
Section title: Historical Note
Eur Neurol 2006;55:57–58
(DOI:10.1159/000091431)

A Norse Contribution to the History of Neurological Diseases

Holmøy T.
Department of Neurology, Ullevål University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
email Corresponding Author

Abstract

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is prevalent in areas with many inhabitants of Scandinavian descent, and a ‘Viking gene’ hypothesis has been suggested for the dissemination of the disease. It is therefore relevant to search Norse sagas for descriptions of clinical pictures which could have been MS. The saga of Bishop Thorlak describes a woman named Halldora, who suffered from transient paresis between 1193 and 1198. The diagnosis is uncertain, but the story shows that symptoms associated with MS were known in Iceland at the end of the 11th century.

© 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel


  

Key Words

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Medical history
  • Norse saga

References

  1. Pearce JM: Historical descriptions of multiple sclerosis. Eur Neurol 2005;54:49–53.
  2. Medaer R: Does the history of multiple sclerosis go back as far as the 14th century? Acta Neurol Scand 1979;60:189–192.
  3. Poser CM: Viking voyages: the origin of multiple sclerosis? An essay in medical history. Acta Neurol Scand Suppl 1995;161:11–22.
  4. Anonymous: Thorlaks Saga; in Biskupa Sogur. Editiones Arna Magnaenae C, ch. 120, series A, vol 13.2. Copenhagen, Jon Helgason, 1978.
  5. Anonymous: Den gamle jærtegnsbok om Biskop Thorlak. Odense, Odense University Press, 1984, pp 54–55.
  6. Anonymous: Pauls Saga; in Biskupa Sogur. Copenhagen, Icelandic Literary Society, 1858, pp 127–148.
  7. Ziegler J: Practitioners and saints: medical men in canonization processes in the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries. Soc Hist Med 1999;12:191–225.

  

Author Contacts

Trygve Holmøy
Department of Neurology
Ullevål University Hospital
NO–0047 Oslo (Norway)
Tel. +47 22 119 101, Fax +47 23 073 510, E-Mail trygve.holmoy@medisin.uio.no

  

Article Information

Received: September 21, 2005
Accepted: November 29, 2005
Published online: February 9, 2006
Number of Print Pages : 2
Number of Figures : 0, Number of Tables : 0, Number of References : 7

  

Publication Details

European Neurology

Vol. 55, No. 1, Year 2006 (Cover Date: February 2006)

Journal Editor: Bogousslavsky, J. (Lausanne)
ISSN: 0014–3022 (print), 1421–9913 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/ENE


Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

Abstract

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is prevalent in areas with many inhabitants of Scandinavian descent, and a ‘Viking gene’ hypothesis has been suggested for the dissemination of the disease. It is therefore relevant to search Norse sagas for descriptions of clinical pictures which could have been MS. The saga of Bishop Thorlak describes a woman named Halldora, who suffered from transient paresis between 1193 and 1198. The diagnosis is uncertain, but the story shows that symptoms associated with MS were known in Iceland at the end of the 11th century.

© 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel


  

Author Contacts

Trygve Holmøy
Department of Neurology
Ullevål University Hospital
NO–0047 Oslo (Norway)
Tel. +47 22 119 101, Fax +47 23 073 510, E-Mail trygve.holmoy@medisin.uio.no

  

Article Information

Received: September 21, 2005
Accepted: November 29, 2005
Published online: February 9, 2006
Number of Print Pages : 2
Number of Figures : 0, Number of Tables : 0, Number of References : 7

  

Publication Details

European Neurology

Vol. 55, No. 1, Year 2006 (Cover Date: February 2006)

Journal Editor: Bogousslavsky, J. (Lausanne)
ISSN: 0014–3022 (print), 1421–9913 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/ENE


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Historical Note

Received: 9/21/2005
Accepted: 11/29/2005
Published online: 3/1/2006
Issue release date: February 2006

Number of Print Pages: 2
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 0014-3022 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9913 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/ENE


Copyright / Drug Dosage

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

References

  1. Pearce JM: Historical descriptions of multiple sclerosis. Eur Neurol 2005;54:49–53.
  2. Medaer R: Does the history of multiple sclerosis go back as far as the 14th century? Acta Neurol Scand 1979;60:189–192.
  3. Poser CM: Viking voyages: the origin of multiple sclerosis? An essay in medical history. Acta Neurol Scand Suppl 1995;161:11–22.
  4. Anonymous: Thorlaks Saga; in Biskupa Sogur. Editiones Arna Magnaenae C, ch. 120, series A, vol 13.2. Copenhagen, Jon Helgason, 1978.
  5. Anonymous: Den gamle jærtegnsbok om Biskop Thorlak. Odense, Odense University Press, 1984, pp 54–55.
  6. Anonymous: Pauls Saga; in Biskupa Sogur. Copenhagen, Icelandic Literary Society, 1858, pp 127–148.
  7. Ziegler J: Practitioners and saints: medical men in canonization processes in the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries. Soc Hist Med 1999;12:191–225.