Saturday, 26 September 2015

George Gershwin September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937

Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2002 Jun;60(2-B):505-8.

The uncinated crisis of George Gershwin.


George Gershwin, renowned composer and pianist, well known for his popular works, died on the 11th July 1937 due to a brain tumor. His neurological symptoms first appeared on that same year, in February, with a simple olfactory partial seizure, characterized by an unpleasant smell of burnt rubber (uncinated seizure). He later had a quick clinical descend, with severe headache that occurred in bouts, dizziness, coordination compromise and olfactory seizures, eventually lapsing into a coma on the 9th July 1937. It was then that a gliomatosus cyst was diagnosed, which on microscopic examination proved to be a "glioblastoma multiforme". Despite the surgical intervention, Gershwin died soon after the procedure without recovering his consciousness. We make a brief review of Gershwin's neurologic disease, with emphasis on the initial symptoms, namely the uncinated seizures.