General Neurology History
Humankind’s attempts to understand the brain, and the various conditions that can affect it, appear to date back at least to the Stone Age. Ancient Incas appear to have practiced something called trepanation, a method of drilling a hole in the skull of a living patient. While the earliest recipients of this procedure do not appear to have lived through it, by the 1400s the Incas were skilled surgeons in this technique.
There is also evidence that the ancient Egyptians and Greeks were studying how the brain and nervous system interacted with the rest of the body. Treatment options were limited by their inability to look at brain tissue and nerves under microscopes, but many of their ideas were well-considered for the time.
The printing press allowed researchers to begin to disseminate their drawings and findings of the general structures of the brain, while the development of microscopes allowed scientists to more closely study how these structures worked together throughout the body.
The primary advances in neurosurgery came as more specialized and exacting tools were created in the 19th and 20th centuries. As the tools improved, so did the underlying neurologic understanding.
Modern technologies mean that there are now many treatments for conditions like multiple sclerosis, chronic migraine, and other neurologic diseases. These advances have allowed doctors like David S. Tabby, DO., to help his patients live longer, healthier lives with fewer disabling side effects from common neurologic conditions.