TIL Niccolo Paganini’s list of likely ailments included Marfan syndrome, Ehlers–Danlos syndrome, syphilis and tuberculosis. He was prescribed a chronic “treament” of mercury and opium, with horrible effects to his physical and mental health

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niccol%C3%B2_Paganini#Late_career_and_health_decline

What do you think?

12 Points
Upvote Downvote


Leave a Reply
  1. >**A plausible suggestion, first made by a medical consultant to the Italian opera in Paris, was that Paganini was the victim of iatrogenic chronic mercury poisoning.1 First prescribed in 1823 under the impression that he had laryngeal syphilis, mercury was given in very large doses, by mouth and by ointment, combined with opium. One consultant wrote that “this medication has had the most disastrous effects on his health,” “attacking his stomach,” and “causing many of the symptoms associated with mercury poisoning.” It resulted in his teeth falling out and forming oral abscesses and osteomyelitis of the jaw. Opium induced constipation would have caused him to take additional mercury in calomel (mercury chloride) as well as large doses of the proprietary Leroy’s purgative and emetic that may have contained additional toxic substances. Mercury poisoning would have caused characteristic increased salivation, deterioration of his eyesight, and tremor of the hands, the hatter’s shakes of the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. It also would have caused personality changes, so that from being an ebullient personality he became retiring, shy, and even easily startled by noises. He died in Nice in 1840, leaving a fortune of 1.7 million francs and bestowing his violins to eight violinists of first rank.**

Leave a Reply