Art and epilepsy surgery

Academic Article

Abstract

  • The impact of health and disease has led many artists to depict these themes for thousands of years. Specifically, epilepsy has been the subject of many famous works, likely because of the dramatic and misunderstood nature of the clinical presentation. It often evokes religious and even mythical processes. Epilepsy surgical treatment has revolutionized the care of selected patients and is a relatively recent advance. Epilepsy surgery has been depicted in very few artistic works. The first portrait showing a potential surgical treatment for patients with epilepsy was painted in the 12th century. During the Renaissance, Bosch famously provided artistic commentary on traditional beliefs in ". The stone of madness". Several of these works demonstrate a surgeon extracting a stone from a patient's head, at one time believed to be the source of all "folly", including epileptic seizures, psychosis, intellectual disability, depression, and a variety of other illnesses. There are some contemporary art pieces including themes around epilepsy surgery, all of them depicting ancient Inca Empire procedures such as trepanning. This article reviews the most relevant artistic works related with epilepsy surgery and also its historical context at the time the work was produced. We also present a painting from the Mexican artist Eduardo Urbano Merino that represents the patient's journey through refractory epilepsy, investigations, and ultimately recovery. Through this work, the artist intends to communicate hope and reassurance to patients going through this difficult process. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ladino LD; Hunter G; Téllez-Zenteno JF
  • Start Page

  • 82
  • End Page

  • 89
  • Volume

  • 29
  • Issue

  • 1