Was Chopin epileptic? – Classical music



What did Chopin have in common with Julius Caesar and Napoleon? No, not a burning desire to build an empire. The answer, say the Spanish scientists, is that they all suffered from epilepsy.

The Polish composer, prone to hallucinations and fits of melancholy, claimed to have seen creatures come out of the piano during a recital in London in 1848, and once described a “cohort of ghosts” making fun of him. These brief visual hallucinations and migraine are symptoms of temporal lobe epilepsy that Spanish scientists believe he might have suffered from. They drew their conclusions after exploring Chopin’s letters and the accounts of those who knew him for clues as to the nature of his visions.

Although Chopin usually took opium-based medications to alleviate his physical symptoms, these are not believed to be the cause of his hallucinations. Chopin started taking them long after his first symptoms, researchers suggest in the journal Medical human sciences. It is the latest diagnosis in a long list of conditions the composer has allegedly suffered from, including bipolar disorder and cystic fibrosis.

Although this diagnosis is far from a concrete diagnosis, Dr Manuel Várquez Caruncho said that “knowing that Chopin had this disease could help separate the fictionalized legend from the reality and shed new light on it. to better understand man and his life “.

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