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A History

Katherine Foxhall



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Johns Hopkins University Press
15 June 2019
A cultural, social, and medical history of migraine.

For centuries, people have talked of a powerful bodily disorder called migraine, which currently affects about a billion people around the world. Yet until now, the rich history of this condition has barely been told.

In Migraine, award-winning historian Katherine Foxhall reveals the ideas and methods that ordinary people and medical professionals have used to describe, explain, and treat migraine since the Middle Ages. Touching on classical theories of humoral disturbance and medieval bloodletting, Foxhall also describes early modern herbal remedies, the emergence of neurology, and evolving practices of therapeutic experimentation. Throughout the book, Foxhall persuasively argues that our current knowledge of migraine's neurobiology is founded on a centuries-long social, cultural, and medical history. This history, she demonstrates, continues to profoundly shape our knowledge of this complicated disease, our attitudes toward people who have migraine, and the sometimes drastic measures that we take to address pain.

Migraine is an intimate look at how cultural attitudes and therapeutic practices have changed radically in response to medical and pharmaceutical developments. Foxhall draws on a wealth of previously unexamined sources, including medieval manuscripts, early-modern recipe books, professional medical journals, hospital case notes, newspaper advertisements, private diaries, consultation letters, artworks, poetry, and YouTube videos. Deeply researched and beautifully written, this fascinating and accessible study of one of our most common, disabling-and yet often dismissed-disorders will appeal to physicians, historians, scholars in medical humanities, and people living with migraine alike.
By:   Katherine Foxhall
Imprint:   Johns Hopkins University Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 19mm
Weight:   408g
ISBN:   9781421429489
ISBN 10:   1421429489
Pages:   292
Publication Date:   15 June 2019
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
List of Figures Acknowledgments Note on Terminology and Names Chapter 1. Introduction: Programmed In? Chapter 2. The Beating of Hammers : Classical and Medieval Approaches to Hemicrania Chapter 3. Take Housleeke, and Garden Wormes : Migraine Medicine in the Early Modern Household Chapter 4. A Deadly Tormenting Megrym : Expanding Markets and Changing Meanings Chapter 5. The Pain Was Very Much Relieved and She Slept : Gender and Patienthood in the Nineteenth Century Chapter 6. As Sharp as If Drawn with Compasses : Victorian Vision, Men of Science, and the Making of Modern Migraine Chapter 7. A Shower of Phosphenes : Twentieth-Century Stories and the Medical Uses of History Chapter 8. Happy Hunting Ground : Conceptual Fragmentation and Medication in the Twentieth Century Chapter 9. If I Could Harness Pain : The Migraine Art Competitions, 1980-1987 Chapter 10. Conclusion Notes 00 Bibliography 00 Index

Social and medical historian Katherine Foxhall earned her PhD from the University of Warwick. She is the author of Health, Medicine, and the Sea: Australian Voyages c. 1815-1860.

Reviews for Migraine: A History

I had not come across such a comprehensive and concise book written about [migraine] . . . This should be on the student nurse and doctor reading list and any clinician caring for patients as this is important to understand migraines and the journey along the way - we are still learning. -- Jane Brown, Urgent Care Division, Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust * Nursing Times * Katherine Foxhall's book, Migraine: A History, is a remarkable volume on migraine and its history from the second to the 21st century . . . Written by a historian with an open mind to all aspects of migraine and medical history, the book stands alone as a current best historical work on the subject . . . For anyone with any interest in migraine, this is a must-read, and one that will be rewarded with compelling erudition, and the knowledge that the history of migraine matters a lot. I recommend it highly. -- R. Allan Purdy, MD, FRCPC, Division of Neurology, Dalhousie University * Brain: A Journal of Neurology * In Migraine, Katherine Foxhall delivers a thorough and illuminating history of migraine that traces our endeavors to understand, treat and eliminate this painful condition we still know little about . . . Foxhall's history of migraine, unlike the self-help books, accommodates human complexity without scanting medicine's contributions to a condition that affects roughly 1 in 7 people on our planet. A lively, scholarly book about migraine, Foxhall's history is also a treatise on the human condition. -- Sibbie O'Sullivan * The Washington Post *

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