The first description of cluster headache is usually attributed to authors who published between 1867 and 1939, but lately several researchers have found accounts dating back to the 18th or even the 17th century which are incomplete or do not account for cluster headache in the strict sense. However, Gerhard van Swieten gave a full description of a case of episodic cluster headache meeting the IHS criteria in 1745, in his textbook of clinical medicine, the mainstream textbook of Continental medicine in those years, since van Swieten was the founder of the then leading medical centre, the Vienna School. That the case was found again only in 1992 is due to the circumstance that it was published in Latin.
Cephalalgia. 1993 Jun;13(3):172-4; discussion 149.
Episodic cluster headache from a textbook of 1745: van Swieten's classic description.
Migraine Clinic, Zürich University Hospital, Switzerland.
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