International recognition of Ferenc Pápai Páriz as one of the first descriptors of all 4 cardinal signs of Parkinson’s disease

Bereczki Dániel 1 , Balla Árpád 2 , Pelok Benedek 3 , and Szatmári Szabolcs 4
  • 1 Department of Neurology Semmelweis,, University Budapest
  • 2 , Székelyudvarhely
  • 3 Department of Neurology, Székelyudvarhely City Hopsital, Székelyudvarhely
  • 4 Department of Neurology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Tirgu Mures, Tirgu Mures


Pax Corporis is the first book written in Hungarian that presents in detail human diseases, their etiology and treatment. Ferenc Pápai Páriz had completed the manuscript entitled Pax Corporis in 1687, and it was published 3 years later in 1690 in Kolozsvár. Ferenc Pápai Páriz summarized the knowledge he gained during his studies and accumulated during his personal practice. He did not write this book for the professionals but for those poor people who had no access to physician’s care. This was the reason why Pax Corporis was written in Hungarian. Whereas Pápai’s Latin language scripts – for example his doctoral thesis written in Basel – are known to the international scientific community, the Hungarian language Pax Corporis remained unknown for all who were not familiar with the language. For this reason it also remained neglected that in Pax Corporis Ferenc Pápai Páriz had given a detailed description of all four currently acknowledged cardinal signs of Parkinson’s disease – tremor, rigor, bradykinesia and postural instability – and also of other characteristics of the disease 130 years before James Parkinson. The report on the description of the syndrome of Parkinson’s disease in Pax Corporis was presented to the international professional community in 2009. In the current study we evaluated the international recognition of Ferenc Pápai Páriz as one of the first descriptors of all 4 cardinal signs of Parkinson’s disease. We searched scientific citation databases – Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar – and also performed general searches on the web. We found that until April 2018 Pápai Páriz has been cited among those who first described the complete motor syndrome of Parkinson’ disease in Pax Corporis, in many countries of the world from New Zealand to Canada, and also in 16 European countries. Citations appeared in dissertations, scientific publications, textbooks, handbooks, professional websites and other documents. Three centuries after his original Hungarian script, Ferenc Pápai Páriz got his international recognition in medical history as one of the first descriptors of the syndrome of Parkinson’s disease.

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