Gradually took hold between the 17th and 19th

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gradually took hold between the 17th and 19th centuries it was widely believed that epilepsy must have a vascular basis attributable to either acute anaemia or acute congestion of the brain. This view was challenged by Todd who was the first to develop an electrical theory of brain function and of epilepsy in his Lumleian Lectures of 1849 (11). Todd was an anatomist, physiologist and pathologist as well as an outstanding physician with an interest in disorders of the nervous system. He was aware of the great new discoveries in electromagnetism through his contact with his contemporary in London, Michael Faraday, the greatest electrical scientist of all time. Influenced by Faraday, Todd conceived of “nervous force” as a polar force, analogous to electricity but mediated by unknown molecular or nutritional mechanisms. He therefore preferred the term “nervous polarity”. Applying Faraday’s concept of “disruptive discharge” he viewed seizures as the result of electrical discharges in the brain, which he confirmed experimentally in the rabbit using Faraday’s recently discovered magnetoelectric rotation machine. It is often taught that Jackson was the first to develop an electrical theory of epilepsy with his famous statement that “Epilepsy is the name for occasional, sudden, excessive, rapid and local discharges of grey matter” (16). It is difficult to understand why, in his Lumleian Lectures of 1890 (12), Jackson did not acknowledge Todd’s lectures on the same subject 41 years earlier (11). However, it is apparent that the Jackson theory was not an electrical one. As
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