Perspectives of medieval persian medicine on multiple sclerosis

Mohammad Ali Sahraian, Mohsen Parviz, Behnam Sheibani, Nicoline Schiess, Zahra Ghorbanifar, Mohammad Kamalinejad, Esmail Nazem, Omid Sadeghpour, Hossein Rezaeizadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Traditional Persian Medicine (TPM) was the prevailing practice of medicine in the Eurasia region up through the 18th century, a practice of medicine stemming back to Hippocrates and to the 5000 year old civilization of the region. It is a school of medicine which touches on many a delicate points which may seem unimaginable within the realm of modern allopathic medicine. This practice of ancient medicine besides shedding light on various possible theoretical modern day disorders serves as a vast resource for therapeutics. In this paper, we present study of the manuscripts of this ancient medical practice in search of symptom presentations coinciding with presentation of multiple sclerosis (MS). Material & Method: This paper represents a comprehensive search through TPM texts and manuscripts with the intention to seek possible clues on MS from potentially valuable age-old resources. We predominantly focused our search on the works of five eminent physicians of Medieval Persia: Avicenna (980-1037 AD), Haly Abbas (949-982 AD), Rhazes (865-925 AD), Averroes (1126-1198 AD) and Jorjani (1042-1137 AD). Results: In this paper, the authors attempt a theory and conclude with high probability that a conjunction of a series of signs, symptoms found in TPM texts under the terms khadar, isterkha and falej form the symptoms and the disease pattern of modern day MS. This theory draws upon existent similarities in terms of disease pathology, disease patterns and predisposing factors seen between MS and the related morbidities within Persian Medicine. Conclusion: We recommend further examinations of such potentially valuable long-standing resources, examining the diagnoses and treatments as set forth by Persian Medicine through international collaboration within the global scientific community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-391
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Drug Metabolism
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2018


  • Averroes
  • Avicenna
  • Haly Abbas
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Optic neuritis
  • Persian medicine
  • Rhazes
  • Traditional medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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