Stroke historical perspective

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Stroke Main page

Patient Information




Hemorrhagic stroke
Ischemic stroke

Differentiating Stroke from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics


NIH stroke scale
Glasgow coma scale

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors


Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


Diagnostic Study of Choice

History and Symptoms

Physical Examination

Laboratory Findings



Echocardiography and Ultrasound

CT scan


Other Imaging Findings

Other Diagnostic Studies


Medical Therapy



Primary Prevention

Secondary Prevention

Cost-Effectiveness of Therapy

Future or Investigational Therapies

Case Studies

Case #1

Stroke historical perspective On the Web

Most recent articles

Most cited articles

Review articles

CME Programs

Powerpoint slides


American Roentgen Ray Society Images of Stroke historical perspective

All Images
Echo & Ultrasound
CT Images

Ongoing Trials at Clinical

US National Guidelines Clearinghouse

NICE Guidance

FDA on Stroke historical perspective

CDC on Stroke historical perspective

Stroke historical perspective in the news

Blogs on Stroke historical perspective

Directions to Hospitals Treating Psoriasis

Risk calculators and risk factors for Stroke historical perspective

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1];Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Maryam Hadipour, M.D.[2]


The history of stroke goes back to the 5th century B.C. as apoplexy. In 17th century it was discovered that the cause is sudden disruption of blood supply to the brain.

Historical Perspective

Stroke is documented in the Hippocrates notes in the 5th century B.C. as apoplexy, meaning “struck down by violence”, which refers to a person who suddenly falls and becomes unconscious. In 1658, Dr. Johann Jacob Wepfer, pathologist and pharmacologist, discovered that the apoplexy is caused by sudden disruption of blood supply to the brain. He identified that the blood supply to the brain was disrupted either due to bleeding in the brain or blocking of the arteries by blood clots. At this time, physicians also believed that excessive food consumption would cause a person to strain with a bowel movement. This straining was thought to have a possible connection with the occurrence of apoplexy, so purging with enemas and stimulants was used frequently. Exercising and proper body position with the neck and head extension were encouraged to ensure proper blood flow to the brain. Finally, bloodletting had become a common practice, but at this point, restrictions were now being discussed. New guidelines recommended the use of bloodletting judiciously when physicians believed that congestion was the cause of apoplexy in a patient.

Famous Cases

It is believed that actors Luke Perry, Cary Grant and Bill Paxton; actresses Debbie Reynolds, Della Reese and Grace Kelly; former presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford; director John Singleton; baseball player Kirby Puckett; former British prime minister Winston Churchill; former Russian dictator Josef Stalin were all the victims of a fatal stroke. In addition, singers Loretta Lynn and Randy Travis; actresses Sharon Stone ("Basic Instinct") and Marla Gibbs (TV's "The Jeffersons"); former NFL New England Patriots player Tedy Bruschi; sprinter Michael Johnson; actors Tim Curry ("Rocky Horror Picture Show") and Frankie Muniz (TV's "Malcolm In The Middle"); rock singer Bret Michaels have also had the experience of a stroke but have survived.[1][2]


  1. Nilsen ML (February 2010). "A historical account of stroke and the evolution of nursing care for stroke patients". J Neurosci Nurs. 42 (1): 19–27. doi:10.1097/jnn.0b013e3181c1fdad. PMID 20187346.
  2. "Stroke". The progress-index. 06/28/2022. Check date values in: |date= (help)

Template:WH Template:WS