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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter January 12, 2019

Multiple sclerosis – the remarkable story of a baffling disease

Tomasz Grzegorski ORCID logo and Jacek Losy


Multiple sclerosis has always been an enigma to its sufferers, their families, medical investigators, and clinicians. For many centuries, there have been attempts to understand its causes and nature, and to discover treatment methods. In the Middle Ages, the disease was claimed to be sent directly from God. A significant development in exploring multiple sclerosis took place in the 19th century, when Jean-Martin Charcot and his colleagues distinguished the disease, precisely described its symptoms, attempted to explain its pathophysiology, and introduced the first methods of symptomatic treatment. The 20th century was a period of discovery and development of diagnostic techniques, such as cerebrospinal fluid analysis, evoked potentials, and magnetic resonance imaging as well as an era of introducing steroid therapy for acute treatment. Currently, the dynamic development of disease modifying therapy and neuroimaging can be observed. The paper aims to delve into the remarkable history of multiple sclerosis by focusing on the earliest case reports and discovery of the disease and exploring its nature, diagnostic methods, and treatment.


The proofreading service was provided by ‘English Prep Biuro Językowe’ (). This article did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

  1. Conflict of interest statement: None to declare.


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Received: 2018-07-21
Accepted: 2018-10-18
Published Online: 2019-01-12
Published in Print: 2019-07-26

©2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston