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Galen's anecdote of the fallen sophist: on the certainty of science through anatomy

Issam A. Awad

C laudius Galen was born in approximately 130 A.D. in the Asia Minor city of Pergamum, a city famous for its sanctuary dedicated to the healing god Asclepius. 6, 14, 22 Galen's father, Nicon, was a renowned architect who educated his son to be a teacher of science and mathematics. At the age of 17, Galen reportedly turned toward medicine and studied not only in his native city, but at other Mediterranean schools as well including Alexandria, which was then the center of medical knowledge in the Roman Empire. He trained under several disciples of the famed

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Hippocrates, Galen, and the uses of trepanation in the ancient classical world

Symeon Missios

✓Trepanation (ανατρησιζ) is the process by which a hole is drilled into the skull, exposing the intracranial contents for either medical or mystical purposes. It represents one of the oldest surgical procedures, and its practice was widespread in many ancient cultures and several parts of the world. Trepanation was used in ancient Greece and Rome, as described in several ancient texts. Hippocrates and Galen are two of the most prominent ancient Greek medical writers, and their works have influenced the evolution of medicine and neurosurgery across the centuries. The purpose of this paper is to examine Hippocrates' and Galen's written accounts of the technique and use of trepanation in the ancient Greek and Roman world. Examination of those records reveals the ancient knowledge of neurological anatomy, physiology, and therapeutics, and illustrates the state and evolution of neurosurgery in the classical world.

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Vein of Galen malformation

Stanley Hoang, Omar Choudhri, Michael Edwards, and Raphael Guzman

drain into the median prosencephalic vein of Markowski, which gradually involutes and eventually persists as the great cerebral vein, or vein of Galen. 13 In patients with VGM, arteriovenous shunts, with their arterial supply largely derived from choroidal arteries, for unknown reasons, develop between the 6th and 11th weeks of intrauterine life. 43 The high blood flow from inadequate capillary resistance, likely coupled with accompanying dural sinus stenoses, causes the anterior segment of the median prosencephalic vein of Markowski, which normally regresses, to

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Treatment of vein of Galen aneurysmal malformation

Pierre Lasjaunias, Georges Rodesch, Phillippe Pruvost, Françoise Grillot Laroche, and Pierre Landrieu

A vein of Galen aneurysmal malformation is a rare anomaly principally affecting the pediatric population. 12 This disorder represents less than 1% of all intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVM's). 12 The natural history of the disease is associated with high mortality and morbidity rates. 7 Active therapy is required to avoid or minimize its early systemic complications, as well as its early and late nervous system complications. The case of an infant with a vein of Galen aneurysmal malformation is reported. The lesion was successfully treated by

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Aneurysms of the vein of Galen

Experience at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto

Harold J. Hoffman, Sylvester Chuang, E. Bruce Hendrick, and Robin P. Humphreys

A lthough Steinheil 54 made initial reference to an aneurysm of the vein of Galen in 1895, the first comprehensive description of the condition and the first attempt at treatment was published in a case report by Jaeger, et al. , in 1937. 26 In 1947, Oscherwitz and Davidoff 40 were the first to approach an aneurysm of the vein of Galen intracranially. Boldrey and Miller 6 in 1949 clipped the posterior cerebral arteries in an attempt to deal with an aneurysm of the vein of Galen. Gold, et al. , 20 firmly established the clinical features of aneurysms

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Herophilus, Erasistratus, Aretaeus, and Galen: ancient roots of the Bell–Magendie Law

Matthew I. Tomey, Ricardo J. Komotar, and J Mocco

✓Since the early 19th century, significant controversy has persisted over the competing claims of two men, Charles Bell and François Magendie, to a pivotal discovery: that the dorsal spinal roots subserve sensation, whereas the ventral spinal roots subserve motion. However, the foundations of neuroanatomy on which Bell and Magendie built their research was formed two millennia in advance. Exploration of the work of four ancient scholars—Herophilus, Erasistratus, Aretaeus, and Galen–reveals a remarkable early appreciation of the separate neural pathways (if not the correct physiology) responsible for sensory and motor control.

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Vein of Galen ligation in the primate

Angiographic, gross, and light microscopic evaluation

Mary K. Hammock, Thomas H. Milhorat, Kenneth Earle, and Giovanni Di Chiro

T he consequences of ligation of the vein of Galen have been a point of controversy since the turn of the century. Dandy 4 in his historical work on hydrocephalus concluded that ligation resulted in a sequence of increased venous pressure, increased cerebrospinal fluid production, and hydrocephalus. These conclusions were based on a study of 10 dogs followed 3 to 3½ months after occlusion of the vein of Galen or the straight sinus. In his series, one animal was found to have dilated ventricles at postmortem examination; in this case, the vein of Galen had

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Management of vein of Galen aneurysms

Report of two cases

Arnold H. Menezes, Carl J. Graf, Charles G. Jacoby, and Steven H. Cornell

A n aneurysm of the great vein of Galen is a single aneurysmal dilation fed by anomalous branches of the carotid and/or basilar circulation. 1, 5, 9, 15, 19, 20 Venous dilations at or near the veinof Galen, that not infrequently accompany such an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), share the same pathogenesis since they are based on a single embryological defect, but are a separate entity from the point of view of surgical treatment. 15 Within the limits of this definition, a vein of Galen aneurysm remains a rarity. Its symptoms and signs involve the

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Gamma surgery for vein of Galen malformations

Bryan Rankin Payne, Dheerendra Prasad, Melita Steiner, Hernan Bunge, and Ladislau Steiner

V ein of Galen malformations are rare, consisting of approximately 1% of intracranial, but nearly one third of pediatric, vascular malformations. 11, 12 Yaşargil's classification 16 is morphological and based on the arterial supply pattern of the malformation. Type I malformations consist of a direct anastomosis between the vein of Galen and the pericallosal arteries and/or the P 3 segments of the PCAs. These are also referred to as the mural form. Type II malformations consist of direct fistulas between the thalamoperforating arteries (P 1 segment of the

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The Eastern heart and Galen's ventricle: a historical review of the purpose of the brain

Mirza N. Baig, Faheem Chishty, Phillip Immesoete, and Chris S. Karas

✓The seat of consciousness has not always been thought to reside in the brain. Its “source” is as varied as the cultures of those who have sought it. At present, although most may agree that the central nervous system is held to be the root of individualism in much of Western philosophy, this has not always been the case, and this viewpoint is certainly not unanimously accepted across all cultures today.

In this paper the authors undertook a literary review of ancient texts of both Eastern and Western societies as well as modern writings on the organic counterpart to the soul. The authors have studied both ancient Greek and Roman material as well as Islamic and Eastern philosophy.

Several specific aspects of the human body have often been proposed as the seat of consciousness, not only in medical texts, but also within historical documents, poetry, legal proceedings, and religious literature. Among the most prominently proposed have been the heart and breath, favoring a cardiopulmonary seat of individualism. This understanding was by no means stagnant, but evolved over time, as did the role of the brain in the definition of what it means to be human.

Even in the 21st century, no clear consensus exists between or within communities, scientific or otherwise, on the brain's capacity for making us who we are. Perhaps, by its nature, our consciousness—and our awareness of our surroundings and ourselves—is a function of what surrounds us, and must therefore change as the world changes and as we change.