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BrainWaves: A Neurology Podcast

Mar 7, 2019

Before it was called epilepsy, it was a falling sickness. A disturbance of consciousness summoned by magic or demonic possession. Although it is less of a mystery today, the Sacred Disease is one neurological condition that continues to pique our curiosity. Join us as we recount the fascinating history of this mystical malady.

IF YOU'RE TAKING YOUR NEUROLOGY BOARDS, and not sure how to prepare, check out the 2019 Penn Neurology Board Review Course at BrainWaves' listeners get $150 off their enrollment fee using the promo code 'WAVES2019'.

Produced by James E. Siegler. Music courtesy of Alavedra Montserrat, Joseph Levine, and William McColl, Damiano Baldoni, Kai Engel, Kevin McLeod, Rafael Archangel, and Unheard Music Concepts. Sound effects by Mike Koenig and Daniel Simion. BrainWaves' podcasts and online content are intended for medical education only and should not be used for clinical decision making. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @brainwavesaudio for the latest updates to the podcast.


  1. Temkin O. The Falling Sickness: A history of epilepsy from the Greeks to the beginnings of modern neurology, 2nd ed. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1971.
  2. Pierce JMS. Disease Once Sacred: A history of the medical understanding of epilepsy. Brain. 2002;125:441-2.