Journal Mobile

MJ Eadie
Journal Issue: 
Volume 39: Issue 3: 2009




Although  there  had  been  occasional  references  to  the  visual  aura  of migraine even in ancient medicine, little attention was given to the phenomenon until  the  first  half  of  the  nineteenth  century  when  French  authors  began  to describe  it.  In  the  medicine  of  English-speaking  countries,  apart  from  a  few descriptions,  it  went  largely  unnoticed  until  the  British  Astronomer  Royal,  Sir George Airy, described his own experience of the visual aura in 1865. Five years later his son, Hubert Airy, also described his experience of it and that of a number of  eminent  contemporary  men  of  science. The  topic  of  the  migraine  aura  was almost  immediately  taken  up  by  two  of  the  younger Airy’s  contemporaries  and fellow Cambridge medical graduates, Peter Wallrock Latham and Edward Liveing, in  their  monographs.  Subsequently,  migraine  with  aura  quickly  became  a  well-recognised clinical entity in British medicine.