Researchers allege that Chopin may have suffered from epilepsy

January 25th, 2011 - 10:08 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

Madrid, Jan 25 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Researchers in Spain have identified that the 19th-century composer, Frederic Chopin’s lapses of consciousness may have been due to temporal lobe epilepsy.

At the time, Chopin’s partner, George Sand, explained that the hallucinations were due to the extraordinary genius of Chopin.

In a bid to unravel the mystery surrounding Chopin’s tendency to drift off and back to consciousness, Manuel Vazquez Caruncho and Francisco Branas Fernandez of the Complexo Hospitalario Xeral-Calde examined the condition of the composer from the description that was given by the people that were mot close to him.

They realized that the description is close to a type of epilepsy that causes sufferers to hallucinate consciously. The condition can last up to minutes but they mostly only last for few seconds before the person regain consciousness.

The findings were published in the journal, Medical Humanities.

The researchers explained that they believe that Chopin’s hallucinations had no psychotic disorders because it mostly occurred at the time that he had fever or in the evening when he was about to sleep.

The researchers concluded that, “We doubt that another diagnosis … will help us understand the artistic world of Frederic Chopin. But we do believe knowing he had (epilepsy) could help to separate romanticized legend from reality.”

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