Figura. Procedimiento de selección de los estudios en la revisión.
Ulysses in the medical literature
Introduction. Cultural manifestations are frequently used as a source of descriptors in the field of the health sciences. The story of Odysseus (Ulysses) is one of the oldest and most influential works of world literature and has given rise to many subsequent creations, with strong roots in popular culture.
Aims. To consider the use of the story of Odysseus in the medical literature, to describe the terms in which it is used, and to discuss its relevance.
Development. From a review performed in PubMed, 112 medical publications with references to the myth of Odysseus were found, out of a total of 343 results. Five different conditions named directly after Ulysses were found (three Ulysses syndromes, the Ulysses contract and the Ulysses conflict), together with two others that have been given the names of other characters who are part of the same cycle (Elpenor syndrome and Penelope syndrome), which we analyse in a critical manner referring to the original material from which they have been taken.
Conclusions. The story of Odysseus constitutes one of the most frequent sources of inspiration in medicine, both for the creation of descriptors and for the use of similes, metaphors or other rhetorical figures, particularly in the area of neuroscience.
Key words. Chronic stress. Elpenor. Odysseus. Parasomnia. Review. Status epilepticus. Ulysses.