Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. The disease has been recognized for centuries, but it was not until the 19th century that it began to be recognized as a distinct clinical entity.
The first description of a possible case of MS was made in the1868 by a French neurologist named Jean-Martin Charcot. He described a young woman with tremors, weakness, and difficulty walking, who later developed blindness and eventually died. He was able to distinguish how her symptoms were different from someone who has Parkinson’s Disease. Charcot performed an autopsy on her and observed multiple areas of damage and scarring in her brain and spinal cord, which he believed were responsible for her symptoms.
Charcot’s observations were later confirmed by other neurologists, and by the end of the 19th century, MS was recognized as a distinct clinical entity. The first diagnostic criteria for MS were established in the early 20th century, and since then, our understanding of the disease has continued to evolve with advances in medical technology and research.