An autopathography of tic douloureux at the beginning of the nineteenth century

Enrico Granieri, Vittorio Govoni, Riccardo De Gennaro, Patrik Fazio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An Italian lawyer who suffered from tic douloureux wrote an autopathography of his disease documenting a 2-decade history of essential trigeminal neuralgia. The diary reveals a medical history from onset until 1823 when this man was admitted to the Arcispedale Sant'Anna in Ferrara. The documentation was recently discovered in the library of the hospital where it was probably placed when the patient died in 1824. Mr. Ruggiero Ragazzi was a man of notable culture who described the course of his disease and the most accredited treatments of that age. Famous Italian physicians examined and treated the patient. Prescriptions, suggestions, letters were attached to the manuscript as well as other notes on treatments for this type of chronic and recurrent pain. Autopsy excluded secondary neuralgias. Information on clinical and pathogenetic theories about trigeminal neuralgia and the state of diagnostics and therapies in the first years of the nineteenth century are reported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-858
Number of pages10
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • Autopathography
  • Case report
  • Medical history
  • Tic douloureux
  • Trigeminal neuralgia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Dermatology


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