Could a neurological disease be a part of Mozart’s pathography?

Ivkić, Goran and Erdeljić, Viktorija (2011) Could a neurological disease be a part of Mozart’s pathography? Collegium Antropologicum, 35 (Suppl.). pp. 169-73. ISSN 0353-3735

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Abstract

As expected, since we recently celebrated the 250th anniversary of birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, there has been again a renewal of interest in his short but intensive life, as well as in the true reason of his untimely dead. Mozart lived and died in time when the medical knowledge was based mostly on subjective observations, without the established basics of standardized medical terminology and methodology. This leaves a great space for hypothesizing about his health problems, as well as about the cause of his death. The medical academic community attributed to Mozart approximately 150 different medical diagnoses. There is much speculation on the possible causes of Mozart’s death: uremia, infection, rheumatic fever, trichinellosis, etc. Recently some authors have raised the question about a possible concomitant neurological disease. According to available records, Mozart has shown some elements of cyclotimic disorder, epilepsy and Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. Furthermore, the finding of a temporal fracture on (allegedly) Mozart’s skull, gives a way to speculations about the possibility of a chronic subdural hematoma and its compressive effect on the temporal lobe. Despite numerous theories on Mozart’s pathography that also include a concomitant neurological disorder, the medical and history records about Mozart’s health status indicate that he probably had suffered from an infective illness, followed most likely by the reactivation of rheumatic fever, which was followed by strong immunologic reaction in the last days of his life. Taking all the above into consideration, it is reasonably to conclude that Mozart’s neurological disturbances were caused by the intensity of the infective disease, and not primarily by a neurological disease.

Abstract in Croatian

NEUROLOŠKI ASPEKT MOZARTOVE PATOGRAFIJE ----- Nedavno obilježavanje 250-te godišnjice rođenja Wolfganga Amadeusa Mozarta, ponovno je rasplamsalo zanimanje za njegov kratki, ali vrlo buran život, a posebno za moguće razloge njegove prerane smrti. Mozart je živio i umro u vremenu kada se medicinsko znanje temeljilo prije svega na subjektivnim zapažanjima, bez osnovne terminološke i medicinske standardizacije. To je ostavilo velik prostor za stvaranje brojnih hipoteza o njegovim zdravstvenim problemima, a jednako tako i o mogućim uzrocima njegove smrti. Medicinska je akademska zajednica Mozartu do sada pripisala oko 150 različitih medicinskih dijagnoza, s napomenom da to vjerojatno nije i konačan broj. Između brojnih nagađanja o mogućim uzrocima smrti kod Mozarta, izdvajaju se: uremija, infekcije, reumatska groznica, trihineloza, itd. Neki su autori nedavno postavili pitanje i o mogućem postojanju neuroloških bolesti kod Mozarta. Prema biografskim podacima kod Mozarta su osim glavobolja navodno zamjećeni i neki elementi ciklotimnog poremećaja, epilepsije i Gilles de la Tourette-ovog sindroma. Nadalje, nalaz frakture sljepoočne kosti na (navodno) Mozartovoj lubanji, stvorila je prostor za spekulacije o postojanju kroničnog subduralnog hematoma, koji je mogao stvarati kompresivni efekt na sljepoočni režanj. Unatoč brojnim teorijama u Mozartovoj patografiji (uključujući i gore navedene), većina medicinskih pokazatelja upućuje na infektivnu pozadinu Mozartove smrti, koja je najvjerojatnije bila posljedica reaktivacije reumatske groznice. Uzevši sve navedeno u obzir, realno je zaključiti da su Mozartovi neurološki poremećaji bili uzrokovani intenziviranjem infektivne bolesti, a ne primarno neurološke bolesti.

Item Type: Article
Departments: Katedra za anatomiju i kliničku anatomiju
Hrvatski institut za istraživanje mozga
Depositing User: Marijan Šember
Status: Published
Creators:
CreatorsEmail
Ivkić, GoranUNSPECIFIED
Erdeljić, ViktorijaUNSPECIFIED
Date: January 2011
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2011
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2011 16:11
Subjects: /
Related URLs:
    URI: http://medlib.mef.hr/id/eprint/957

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