Early descriptions of Parkinson disease in ancient China

Zhen Xin Zhang, Zhen Hua Dong, Gustavo C. Román

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


A historical search of traditional Chinese medical sources revealed several ancient descriptions suggestive of Parkinson disease dating back to 425 BC. Zhang Zihe (1156-1228) provided the first description of a typical case of Parkinson disease in the book Ru Men Shi Qin. Traditional Chinese medicine also recommended an "antitremor pill" that to this day appears to provide reasonable symptomatic treatment for tremor and rigidity. Based on this evidence, we conclude that Parkinson disease (PD) was first described more than 2400 years ago in China.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)782-784
Number of pages3
JournalArchives of neurology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology


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