Paleopathology


Fig. 1. Heavy deforming spondylosis with ossification anterior longitudinal ligament during IV to IX thoracic vertebra. (From the tomb of the 1st century BC)

Paleopathology (from the Greek. palaios - ancient and pathos - disease and logos - doctrine) - a science of disease organisms that lived on Earth in remote times. Distinguish: disease flora (palaeopathology), invertebrates and vertebrates (parapaleontology) and diseases of ancient people (paleopathology person). The earliest manifestations of paleopathology - traumatic changes and their consequences. The disease emerged later. Traces of diseases and injuries of bones found in fossil man all the way of its formation: from Pithecanthropus and Neanderthal to the present state. The more ancient epoch, the more frequently detected expressed wear pattern osteoarticular apparatus - extensive spondylosis and arthrosis (Fig. 1). They are the result of overwork and summation of injuries.
Also found different phases and localization of tuberculous spondylitis, heavy osteomyelitis with sequestration and fistulous moves.
These paleopathology show that in a very remote times (the stone age and the iron age), in particular on the territory of the USSR, was made without the complications of a number of surgical interventions, such as trepanation of the skull. The hardest form of ankylosing spondylitis (Fig. 2) was found in the man about 45 years (the burial of the 10th-12th centuries).
It was believed that syphilis among the ancient inhabitants of the Old world was not that he brought from America. Undisputed findings showed that syphilis suffered, since the Neolithic, a number of inhabitants of the Old world. Found ossified syphilis gum and osteoporotic on the crest of tibial bone. Found typical tabes dorsalis defeats of bones of the feet, and atrophy of the lower thoracic vertebrae (Fig. 3) and handle the sternum from pressure on them aortic aneurysm. Found benign and primary malignant bone tumors, cancer bone metastases as sclerosing and osteolytic. The latter, as now, was observed more frequently than sclerosing and mixed metastases. Occurred and cancer osteophytes brain and facial bones of the skull (Fig. 4).
In remote times were also observed rickets, a disease Kashin-Beck, gout, octet deforming syndrome Marie-Bamberger, the consequences of frostbite and other pathological changes in bone and articular apparatus and anomalies.
Museums of paleopathology man, the oldest of which is located in Paris, are of great scientific value. In the USSR the most rich collection of the Museum of paleopathology at the Department of radiology of the 1-St Leningrad medical Institute.



Fig. 2, deformation of the spinal column in the result of ankylosing spondylitis. (From the tomb of the 10th-12th centuries)

Fig. 3. Atrophy of the bodies of the lower thoracic vertebrae from the pressure to aortic aneurysm. (From burial 8-10 centuries)

Fig. 4. Osteolytic lesions in the skull of an elderly woman (1); cancer osteophytes in the bones of the same skull (2). (From the tomb of the 10th-12th centuries)