Tissot and Herpin’s works : a great contribution to the comprehension of epilepsy Volume 20, issue 2, avril-mai-juin 2008

20, route de Narbonne, 11200 Thézan des Corbières

Tissot and Herpin were two great neurologists whose works played a major role in the comprehension of epilepsy. Tissot (1728-1797) was graduated from the University of Montpellier and went into medical practice in Lausanne. He is the author of numerous scientific treatises of medecine. His largest work was Traité de l’epilepsie (Treatise of Epilepsy), published in 1770, in which he describes the manifestations of many epileptic seizures and particularly the absences. He also expresses his views on the pathogenesis of epileptic seizures, the treatment, the course and prognosis of epilepsy. Herpin (1799-1865), went his medical practice in Geneva during 30 years. In his work, Des accès incomplets de l’épilepsie, published posthumously in 1867, he recorded the clinical manifestations of juvenile myoclonic epilepsy and of focal seizures and particularly, focal motor seizures that have their origin in the brain, a view lauded later by Jackson. In his thesis, Du pronostic et du traitement curatif de l’épilepsie, he concluded that epilepsy was often curable and that around 25 % of the patients are pharmaco-resistant. He analysed with a great sagacity the different factors of resistance to anti-epileptic drugs.