Absinthe, epileptic seizures and Valentin Magnan

Eadie, M. J. (2009) Absinthe, epileptic seizures and Valentin Magnan. The Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, 39 1: 73-78.

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Author Eadie, M. J.
Title Absinthe, epileptic seizures and Valentin Magnan
Journal name The Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1478-2715
Publication date 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 39
Issue 1
Start page 73
End page 78
Total pages 6
Place of publication Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Publisher Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Language eng
Subject 1202 Building
2700 Medicine
3304 Education
Formatted abstract
Absinthe is an alcoholic liquor containing extracts from the wormwood plant. It was widely consumed in France in the late nineteenth century. Its production was banned in 1915, partly because it was thought to cause neurological disturbances, including mental changes and epileptic seizures. Modern knowledge of an acceptable content of the convulsant α-thujone in absinthe has allowed the lifting of the production bans, and called into question the experimental work of Valentin Magnan in the 1870s, which formed the scientific background to the campaign against absinthe. An examination of Magnan's published investigations suggests that his science was very adequate by the standards of his time, and that he had shown that an alcohol-soluble component of wormwood did produce lapses of consciousness, myoclonic jerks and tonic-clonic convulsions in animals. Whether that component, presumably thujone, was present at convulsant concentrations in some of the available absinthes of Magnan's time cannot now be known.
Keyword Absinthe
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
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