Here is an attempt to trace the references regarding Vata and Vatavyadhi – brain and neurological references from Vedas, Upanishad and Purana textbooks.
In Atharva Veda,
Vatikrita Vishanika term is mentioned, which is correlated with Gridhrasi (sciatica), which is one among the Vata Vyadhi.
Anukam, Anukyam are the words used in many occasions to denote spine or back.
In Atharva Veda, Vata Dosha is addressed not to leave the body but bear the limbs till the old age.
Prayers saying “keep Ojus in Uru spread in Jaghana and Prishtha, which is having the capacity to straighten and erect the foot and responsible for unimpaired organs of the entire body” is found in Atharva Veda.
Five types of Vata viz. Prana, Apana, Vyana, Samana and Udana was also mentioned in Atharv Ved.
The medicines effective for the treatment of Vayu have been also described.
Description of Shroni (pelvis) and other words used for Asthi and Spine are also given.
The term Kikasa is used to explain vertebra
The description of diseases like Angabheda and Pangu clearly show their existence during that era. Description of spinal disease is also found in Rigveda. Vyamsa was mentioned in Rig Veda as the disorders which hamper the movement.
The classification of Vata is also available in Yajurveda.
Upanishad and Purana
There is elaborate description of the functions and types of Vata, its locations, qualities etc in Upanishad.
In Kenopanishad the description given for Vayu as one which is always in motion and continuing efforts.
Eeshopanishad also described it in a similar fashion.
Chhandogyopanishad highlighted the Chala property of Vayu and described its association with body and movements.
Kathopanishad named the word Sushumna for spinal cord, which comes out Piercing the skull.
In Prashnopanishad the anatomy of the spinal cord and its functions are depicted. According to it Sushumna is one of the 101 Nadis going upwards.With the help of this Nadi the Udana Vayu moves to and fro from foot and legs to head.
Brahmasutra, Garuda Purana
Brahmasutra reveals the importance of Vyana Vata as the one that resides in the joints and responsible for the movements of the joint. The circulation is considered as the function of Samana Vata.
In Garuda Purana, health related subjects are described in details. A separate chapter is available as Vatavyadhi Nidana and Gridhrasi is described as an entity there.
Agni Purana also holds identical description. Panini has mentioned Vata Kopa as well as Vata Shamana. He has given the term Vatiki for disorders of Vata.
Sushumna has been described in Harsha Charita.
Atharva Veda – 1929 Subhoda Bhashya, Sripad Damodar Satwalekar.
The Holy Vedas: Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda by Bibek Debroy and Dipavali Debroy
The Vedas – 2013 by Sri Chandrakesharendra Saraswati
Upanishads : The Holy Spirit of Vedas by F. Max Muller and Adi Shankaracharya