Searching for neurological diseases in the Julio-Claudian dynasty of the Roman Empire

ABSTRACT The gens Julia was one of the oldest families in ancient Rome, whose members reached the highest positions of power. They made history because Julius Caesar, perpetual dictator, great-uncle of the first emperor, Augustus, passed his name on to the Julio-Claudian dynasty with the emperors Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero. Descriptions of the diseases of these emperors and some of his family members may indicate diagnoses such as epilepsy, dystonia, dementia, encephalitis, neurosyphilis, peripheral neuropathies, dyslexia, migraine and sleep disorders. In the historical context of ancient Rome, the possibility of infectious diseases related to the libertine way of life is quite large. However, there is a possibility that some of these diseases occurred from genetic transmission.