The History of Lupus: Classical Period
The lupus community has been fortunate to benefit from new drugs and treatments that have made a huge impact on the quality of life and longevity of patients.
How did lupus develop? When was it first diagnosed?
Let’s take a look at the history of lupus and see how far the science behind this disease has come.
There are 3 periods in the history of lupus: Classical, Neoclassical and Modern. Today we’ll look at the Classical period, which includes the first descriptions of lupus.
At the beginning of the middle ages, Hippocrates (460-375 BC) was the first person to write about symptoms similar to what we call lupus today.
Later in the Middle ages, in the 13th century, a physician named Rogerius used the word lupus to describe what we know as lupus. Rogerius described erosive facial lesions that appeared as a consequence of a wolf’s bite. Why “lupus”? Because “lupus” is Latin for wolf.
It’s important to note that the descriptions of lupus at this point were of cutaneous lupus only. Possibly because, like today, people with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus don’t look sick even when the disease is causing irreparable harm to their organs.
The lines for what was and wasn’t lupus were blurry. Lupus was confused with herpes or other skin lesions.
The first clear description of lupus erythematosus was by Biett and was reported by his student Cazenave under the term erythema centrifugum in 1833 – the end of the Classical and beginning of the Neoclassical periods of lupus.
Come back next week for information on the Neo Classical period.
“The History of Lupus Erythematosus and Discoid Lupus: From Hippocrates to the Present” Robert A Norman, Department of Dermatology, College of medicine, University of Central Florida, USA, C Corresponding author: Robert A. Norman, Department of Dermatology, College of medicine, University of Central Florida, USA, Lupus: Open Access, Received date: December 4, 2015; Accepted date: December 24, 2015; Published date: January 19, 2016 https://www.longdom.org/open-access/the-history-of-lupus-erythematosus-and-discoid-lupus-fromhippocrates-to-the-present-Lupus-1000102.pdf
“The history of lupus throughout the ages” Renaud Felten 1, Dan Lipsker 2, Jean Sibilia 1, François Chasset 3, Laurent Arnaud 4; J Am Acad Dermatol. 2020 May 4;S0190-9622(20)30772-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2020.04.150.
“The history of lupus erythematosus. From Hippocrates to Osler” C D Smith 1, M Cyr; Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 1988 Apr;14(1):1-14.