Galeata: chronic migraine independently considered in a medieval headache classification
By Ángel Luís Guerrero-Peral, Virginia de Frutos González and María Isabel Pedraza-Hueso
The Journal of Headache and Pain, Vol.15 (2014)
Background: Chronic migraine is a quite recent concept. However, there are descriptions suggestive of episodic migraine since the beginning of scientific medicine. We aim to review main headache classifications during Classical antiquity and compared them with that proposed in the 11th century by Constantine the African in his Liber Pantegni, one of the most influential texts in medieval medicine.
Method: We have carried out a descriptive review of Henricum Petrum’s Latin edition, year 1539.
Results: Headache classifications proposed by Aretaeus of Cappadocia, Galen of Pergamun and Alexander of Tralles, all of them classifying headaches into three main types, considered an entity (called Heterocrania or Hemicrania), comparable to contemporary episodic migraine. In ninth book of Liber Pantegni, headaches were also classified into three types and one of them, Galeata, consisted on a chronic pain of mild intensity with occasional superimposed exacerbations.
Conclusion: In Liber Pantegni we have firstly identified, as a separate entity, a headache comparable to that we currently define as chronic migraine: Galeata.