Landtblom, AM., Fazio, P., Fredrikson, S. et al. Neurol Sci (2010) 31: 29. doi:10.1007/s10072-009-0161-4
The personal diary of Sir Augustus d’Esté, born 1794 grandson of King George III of England, reveals a medical history strongly suggesting that Augustus suffered from multiple sclerosis (MS). It could well be the first record of a person having this disease. Charcot coined the term sclérose en plaques 20 years after the death of this patient in 1848. The onset of this man’s MS seems to have been in 1822 with bilateral optic neuritis, the disease gradually developing in the classic manner with bouts derived from different loci in the central nervous system and eventually a secondary progressive form with paraparesis, sphincter incontinence, urinary problems and impotence. In 1941, Firth highlighted the case of Augustus d’Esté and later wrote a description of the pathology including a discussion on the aetiology of MS. No previous medical records have given such a characteristic picture of MS as this.