[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gonioscopy is a technique used to examine structures in the anterior chamber angle (the fluid filled space inside the eye between the iris and the innermost layer of the cornea, the endothelium). It is an essential tool in ophthalmic practice, particularly in the diagnosis of glaucoma. In 1899, the Greek ophthalmologist Alexios Trantas was the first to visualise the angle in vivo and coined the term ‘gonioscopy’. He made a number of other important contributions to ophthalmology.
The journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh 10/2015; 45(3):226-8. DOI:10.4997/JRCPE.2015.311
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The study examines the pathological circumstances related to Byron's death, the primary issue being malaria. Lord Byron died during the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire, in Messolonghi on 19 April 1824. Byron's medical profile consists of recurrent onsets of fever, which gave rise to the issue of malaria relapses. According to Byron's letters he reported crises of fever in Greece (1810), Malta (1811), Italy (1817-1819) and England. Evidence from Byron's autopsy, specifically the absence of hepatosplenomegaly, does not support a hypothetical diagnosis of malaria. Nonetheless, the relapsing fevers cannot be ignored and the same applies to the possibility of malaria relapse or re-infection in line with the endemic nature of the Messolonghi area. Our research on the chronologies of Byron's reported fevers found that new attacks occurred at intervals of 540 days on average. Moreover, the most outstanding feature of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium ovale is their ability to form dormant forms of hypnozoites in the liver which, when reactivated (110-777 days), cause true relapses of clinical disease. Of course, an ex post facto diagnosis is under debate, because the diagnosis is not clinical but microscopic. Byron's example raises alarm over a current medical problem, i.e. the diagnosis of unexplained fevers, and the need for a detailed travel or immigration history, which will include malaria in the differential diagnosis.
Le infezioni in medicina: rivista periodica di eziologia, epidemiologia, diagnostica, clinica e terapia delle patologie infettive 09/2015; 23(3):288-195.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Hippocratic Collection, including the most of ancient Greek medicine, remains still interesting, despite the recent advances that transformed definitely the urological healing methods. Considering the patient as a unique psycho-somatic entity and avoiding high risk surgical manipulations were the leading principles dictating the everyday practice. Contemporary physicians can still learn from the clinical observations in times of complete absence of laboratory or imaging aid, from the prognostic thoughts, the ethics, and the philosophical concepts, represented by the Hippocratic writings, tracing into them the roots of Rational Medicine in general and Urology in particular.
International braz j urol: official journal of the Brazilian Society of Urology 05/2015; 41(1):26-9. · 0.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the study is the presentation of the evolution of Greek Microbiology through the arti cles of the Official Journal of the Hellenic Microbiological Society, "Acta Microbiologica Hellenica". The study presents the articles in the spectrum of the infectious diseases of every decade with the help of indexing and bibliometrics of 1,558 articles during the period 1956-2014. During the period 1956-1969, the articles were identified with the problems of Public Health in Greece, such as poliomyelitis, and the international microbiological research. Also, during this period the main interest of the articles are the Gram-negative aerobic bacteria and Gram-positive cocci. The microorganisms primarily identified were Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Shigella spp., Proteus vulgaris and Neisseria gonnorheae. The study of Gram-negative aerobic bacteria and Gram-positive cocci will increase during the period 1970-1979. The interest of the microbiologists contain mainly microorganisms such as Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Clostridium perfringens and Neisseria meningitidis. During 1970s, we can detect the first articles about the risks of the nosocomial infections in the Greek hospitals for microorganisms such as Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus spp., Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, Proteus vulgaris and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The interest of the Greek microbiologists seems to be intensive for another communicable disease: hepatitis. During the period 1971-1979, several articles were identified for Picornaviridae and Orthomyxoviridae. According to our findings, it seems that the period 1956-1979, the journal follows the scientific timeliness and the serious infectious diseases of the country.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this research is to present syphilis among women described as "indecent" according to the records of the Venereal Diseases Hospital "Andreas Syggros", which is located in Athens, during the period 1931-1935. In impoverished Greece of the Interwar period, factors such as criminal ignorance, or lack of information on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) along with inadequate health controls of sex workers, resulted in a dramatic spread of syphilis, whereas "Andreas Syggros" hospital accommodated thousands of patients. The inflow of 1.300.000 Greek refugees from Asia Minor, after the Greek defeat by the Turkish army in the war of 1922, resulted in a notable change in the demographics of the country, while the combination of miserable living conditions, unemployment, economic crisis of the Interwar period, political instability and dysfunction of the State led to an increased number of illegal sex workers and syphilis outbreaks. Despite the introduction of an ad hoc Act to control STDs since 1923, the State was unable to limit the transmissibility of syphilis and to control prostitution. Unfortunately, the value of this historical paradigm is borne out by a contemporary example, i.e. the scandal of HIV seropositive sex workers in -beset by economic crisis- Greece in May 2012. It turns out that ignorance, failure to comply with the law, change in the mentality of the citizens in an economically ruined society, and most notably dysfunction of public services during periods of crisis, are all risk factors for the spread of serious infectious diseases.
Giornale italiano di dermatologia e venereologia: organo ufficiale, Societa italiana di dermatologia e sifilografia 08/2014; 149(4):461-9. · 0.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: FRII-01
Syphilis’ Impact on Late Works of Classical Music Composers
L REMPELAKOS, E POULAKOU-REBELAKOU, K TSIAMIS, A REMPELAKOS*, ATHENS, Greece
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES: To present the effects of the tertiary stage syphilis on the last works of some
famous European classical music composers suffering from the disease.
METHODS: The review of the biographies of seven documented syphilis cases of composers, focusing on the events of
their last period of life and the review of the critics for their artistic expression under disease-affected circumstances.
RESULTS: The 19th century is undeniably considered as the golden age of classical music but, at the same time, some of
the most famous composers were victims of this disease-menace, strongly stigmatizing themselves and their families, the latter
trying to keep the shameful secret, aftermath destructing sources and documents. Seven cases of musicians with syphilis have
been studied: Franz Schubert died at the age of 31, while Robert Schumann and Hugo Wolf (age at death 46 and 43 respectively),
both attempted suicide and passed the rest of their lives in insane asylums. Moreover, Gaetano Donizetti infected his wife, Virginia,
who died in childbirth before his own death occurring between catatonic symptoms and bouts of persecution mania. Bedrich
Smetana predicted his death entitling his composition “final page” and indeed, he did not compose anymore and died soon in a
mental asylum. Frederick Delius lived for fifteen years blind and paralyzed dictating his scores to a young follower of his music,
although the quality of the late compositions cannot be compared with the priors. Finally, Niccolò Paganini, who did not appear with
mental decline, lost his voice, probably as a secondary effect of mercury treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: Syphilis has been a fatal disease through ages and among its victims, authors and artists died with
symptoms of mental deterioration due to neurosyphilis. The influence of the disease upon their last works can be traced especially
in the case of composers, as hallucinations and horrors and psychological conflicts are reflected in their music.
Source of Funding: NONE
AUA Annual Congress, Orlando, FL, USA, May 15-21, 2014; 04/2014
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper presents the British colonial health policy concerning the case of vaccination against smallpox in the Ionian Islands (1815-1864). The study was based on the registers of the Executive Police Archives during the mass vaccination which was conducted in Corfu in 1852. The archival material provides information about the number of people vaccinated and their sex, age and nationality, the year of the last vaccination and the last year that people "had smallpox". One of the most important items of information is if the vaccinated people had "had smallpox" during the most recent epidemic of smallpox. The findings of the analysis of the registers were combined with the concurrent data of the anti-British press about the extensive epidemic in Corfu in 1852. The unedited archival material and the final findings provide a new dimension to the medical and historical data generally known until now, showing the unprecedented negligence and inefficiency of the health model in that era, which was applied as a part of the British colonial policy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We attempt to present and analyze suicidal behaviour in the ancient Greek and Roman world.
Drawing information from ancient Greek and Latin sources (History, Philosophy, Medicine, Literature, Visual Arts) we aim to point out psychological and social aspects of suicidal behaviour in antiquity.
The shocking exposition of suicides reveals the zeitgeist of each era and illustrates the prevailing concepts. Social and legal reactions appear ambivalent, as they can oscillate from acceptance and interpretation of the act to punishment. In the history of these attitudes, we can observe continuities and breaches, reserving a special place in cases of mental disease. The delayed emergence of a generally accepted term for the voluntary exit from life (the term suicidium established during the 17th century), is connected to reactions triggered by the act of suicide than to the frequency and the extent of the phenomenon.
The social environment of the person, who voluntary ends his life usually dictates the behaviour and historical evidence confirms the phenomenon.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The presentation of the cult of phallus in ancient Greece and the artistic appearance of the phenomenon on vase figures and statues, as indicative of the significant role of the male genitalia in all fertility ceremonies.
The examination of a great number of penile representations from the ancient Greek pottery and sculpture and the review of the ancient theater plays (satiric dramas and comedies ).
Phallus in artistic representation is connected either with gods of fertility, such as the goat-footed and horned Pan or the ugly dwarf Priapus or the semi-animal nailed figures Satyrs, devotees of the god Dionysus accompanying him in all ritual orgiastic celebrations. Phallus also symbolizes good luck, health and sexuality: people bear or wear artificial phalli exactly like the actors as part of their costume or carry huge penises during the festive ritual processions. On the contrary, the Olympic gods or the ordinary mortals are not imaged ithyphallic; the ideal type of male beauty epitomized in classical sculpture, normally depicts genitals of average or less than average size. It is noteworthy that many of these images belong to athletes during or immediately after hard exercise with the penis shrunk. The normal size genitalia may have been simply a convention to distinguish normal people from the gods of sexuality and fertility, protectors of the reproductive process of Nature.
The representation of the over-sized and erected genitalia on vase figures or statues of ancient Greek art is related to fertility gods such as Priapus, Pan and Satyrs and there is strong evidence that imagination and legend were replacing the scientific achievements in the field of erectile function for many centuries.
Archivos españoles de urología 12/2013; 66(10):911-916. · 0.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The study presents the history of rabies in Greece from antiquity to the present times. The disease was endemic in Greece for centuries. Despite the discovery of anti-rabies vaccine by Louis Pasteur, the disease was still deadly to humans. Milestone in the development of anti-rabies campaign was the establishment of the Anti-Rabies Institute of Athens in 1896 by the microbiologist Panagiotis Pampoukis.
The application of anti-rabies treatment resulted in gradually reduce of fatality at 0,2%. In the 20th century, the Greek State was founded six Anti-Rabies Institutes which made laboratory testing and anti-rabies treatment. Since 1949, the massive vaccination of dogs gradually led to the elimination of human rabies in Greece. Since 1970, Greece was free from human rabies. In October 2012, the disease was detected again in foxes in Northern Greece. The disease exists as a natural infection in sylvatic animals and the Health Authorities should always be on hand to prevent its occurrence in human population.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tuberculosis in Greece during the interwar period was examined from a demographic and health perspective, based on the flow of patients in the Sanatorium of Parnitha (George Stavros and George Fuge Hospital), which served as a tuberculostatic infirmary of the Regional General Hospital "Evangelismos". Study was made of the annual publication entitled "Exposition of the Proceedings of the "Evangelismos" Infirmary, the G. Stavros and G. Fuge Hospital, and the Staff Pension Fund" for the period 1927-1939. Based on the activities of the sanatorium, the data collected covered the transfer of patients, the forms of tuberculosis, the diagnostic and therapeutic means of the time, the outcome of the patients and the duration of their hospitalization. From the records it was possible to correlate the days of hospitalization with the clinical form of tuberculosis and the type of treatment administered. The recorded data such as age, sex, marital status and occupation were examined, in an attempt to outline the demographic profile of the sanatorium patients.
Archives of Hellenic Medicine 01/2013; 30(4):480-490.