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The Migraine Science of Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi

Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi, a Muslim Arab medical scientist, surgeon, doctor, and chemist who lived between 936 and 1013 CE is known as one of the fathers of modern medicine.

Al-Zahrawi was the first medical scientist to describe and involvement of the arteries in migraine pain. His simple but profound discovery is shared millions of times a day by migraine sufferers around the world when they compress these arteries with their fingers, and in many patients, experience a level of relief from the pain.

In his 30 volumes on medical science and surgery known as Kitab at-Tasrif Abu al-Qasim laid out a surgical procedure to close off the tiny arteries under the scalp that are the cause of intractable migraine pain in many sufferers.

This procedure was published again in the late 1500’s by French surgeon Ambroise Pare. Its is said that Pare ligated his own temporal artery in a mirror to relieve his migraine pain.

More recently the procedure has been published numerous times from Cook in 1974, to Shevel in 2007.

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