Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Multiple [disseminated] sclerosis


“Disseminated sclerosis was described pathologically in the 1830s by Cruveilhier in Paris and Carswell in London, but clinical accounts were sketchy. It was known only to the cognoscenti and regarded as a great rarity. Charcot was the first to diagnose the disease during life, and from 1860 onwards Charcot and Vulpian, and later Charcot writing alone, firmly established it as an entity showing a spectrum of severity and chronicity and formulated valid diagnostic criteria for its clinical recognition. Before Charcot it had been confused with parkinsonism, and it was chiefly from his close study of a personal housemaid that this percipient observer recognized the difference between the intention tremor of the one and the static tremor of the other. Characteristically he retained the services of the girl until her condition demanded admission to Salpetriere – when he was at last able to confirm his clinical diagnosis of her disseminated sclerosis at autopsy.”

Henry Miller, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, Volume 60, April 1967.





Sections  |  Neurology

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