Neurologia.com es una comunidad de conocimiento alrededor de la neurología en habla hispana, compuesta por millones de profesionales, desde estudiantes a instituciones médicas o académicas. Esta comunidad se dota de diferentes herramientas de interrelación y difusión del conocimiento en neurociencia
The mad and the demented in the literary works of Cervantes: on Cervantes’ sources of medical information about neuropsychiatry
INTRODUCTION. Throughout the writings of Cervantes, the lunatic or the madman (which allows for certain neurological pathologies, such as epilepsy) is a figure that appears over and over again, as a literary strategy that the author uses to express his own particular social criticism. DEVELOPMENT. This literary characterisation of insanity is endowed with a number of clinical connotations that suggest that Cervantes was quite familiar with certain elements of medicine; although such knowledge may well have come from relatives and friends, he also showed a personal interest in the mentally ill (there is evidence that he visited the Hospital de Inocentes –a mental asylum– in Seville). Likewise, it seems obvious that Cervantes was also familiar with several medical treatises concerning the neurosciences, which were very much in vogue in Spain in the late Renaissance period. In fact, his personal library included two works that, in addition to serving to inspire the Alcalá-born author on some points, are cited almost literally in some of his novels. These references are The Examination of Men’s Wits, written by Juan Huarte de San Juan in 1575, and the annotated Spanish version of Dioscorides (On medical matters and mortal poisons) by Andrés Laguna, from 1555. Similarly, the clinical description of the main character in the novela ejemplar Vidriera, the Lawyer seems to have been taken from the medical tract Dignotio et cura affectuum melancholicorum (1569) by Alfonso de Santa Cruz. Lastly, it has also been suggested that, in the construction of his literature, Cervantes drew on the humanistic approaches advocated by Erasmus of Rotterdam in his In Praise of Folly (1509).