Epilepsy Likely Fueled Chopin's Visions

Composer saw creatures emerging from piano
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 25, 2011 8:59 AM CST
In this in this undated file photo, 19th century French-Polish romantic composer Frederic Chopin is seen.   (AP Photo/File)

(Newser) – The 19th-century composer Frédéric Chopin suffered frightening hallucinations, ranging from ghosts to creatures coming out of his piano. Now, researchers believe the visions may have been prompted by temporal lobe epilepsy, the Daily Telegraph reports. The disease can cause short, detailed hallucinations, and “could easily have been overlooked by Chopin’s doctors,” researchers note in Medical Humanities.

“We doubt that another diagnosis added to the already numerous list will help us understand the artistic world of Frédéric Chopin,” the scientists write. "But we do believe that knowing he had this condition could help to separate romanticized legend from reality and shed new light in order to better understand the man and his life.” Click through for more on Chopin’s condition.

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