School of Chemistry - Theses

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    Theoretical and spectroscopic studies of anticonvulsant drugs
    Andrews, Peter Ronald ( 1969)
    Once upon a time, people who suffered from grand mal were fed mustard, and weasels' blood, and some had their skulls perforated. Grand mal, the falling sickness, had been known since the time of Hippocrates, but even the empirical Greeks resorted to mystical explanations for the thunderclap onset of a grand mal fit, and the churchmen and surgeons of the Middle Ages were of the opinion that a glass of human urine, preferably provided by the first witness to the seizure, would hasten the departure of the offending demon. Although logically reasonable, this and other treatments! failed to alleviate grand mal or any of the related cerebral conditions which are now known collectively as epilepsy, and it was not until 1857 that the first useful anticonvulsant drug, potassium bromide, was introduced. (From introduction)