Timeline – The History of Multiple Sclerosis

MS Timeline

1380: St. Lidwina born in Holland; her progressive illness suggests a diagnosis of MS

1794: Birth of Augustus d’Este, an early case of what would later be known as MS

1838: Robert Carswell includes an illustration of a case of “a peculiar disease state,” showing the features of MS

1868: Jean-Martin Charcot gives three lectures describing the features of MS and names it “sclérose en plaque disseminée”

1873-1875: A series of cases are published in London by William Moxom

1884-1887: Numerous lectures and published case reports; optic neuritis andmyelitis described (1884); infection suggested as a cause (1884); family with 12 cases of MS described (1885); toxins suggested as a cause (1887)

1891: The lumbar puncture technique is developed

1899: Oligodendrocytes (cells that produce and maintain myelin) are described

1906: A toxin tomyelin is suggested for the breakdown of myelin in plaques

1915: James Dawson publishes his major work on the pathology of the MS plaque

1933: Animal model of MS (EAE) is developed; folding wheelchair invented by Everest,
allowing individuals with disabilities to travel by car and bring their wheelchair

1950: Roy Swank develops lowfat diet for individuals with MS; first major study conducted in the US and Canada, funded by NMSS

1951: First use of Cortisone to treat MS

1955: Kurtzke defines Disability Status Scale

1957: Interferons are discovered

1965: The initial criteria for diagnosis of MS is described

1968: Thieme develops the electric mobility scooter

1970: Acute MS flare-ups are treated with adrenocorticotropin

1972: McDonald and Halliday show that conduction is slowed or blocked along demyelinated nerves and use evoked potential methods with MS

1977: Jacobs gives interferon to MS patients intrathecally; McDonald and Halliday outline new diagnostic criteria for MS; oral baclofen approved to treat spasticity

1978: Patterns of myelin repair are demonstrated by Prineas

1980s-1990s: Tegretol® is used to treat pain; Ditropan® is used to treat spastic bladder; as with most symptom management drugs, these are prescribed off-label

1981: First MRI scan of the brain is performed and first MRI images of MS lesions produced; Jacobs reports reduced exacerbations with intrathecal interferon

1983: Poser criteria described for MS; Epstein-Barr virus suspected of being involved with MS; Kurtzke introduces Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS)

1987: Prozac® is approved to treat depression; first SSRI antidepressant

1988: Medtronic® Synchromed™ pump and infusion system (implanted and programmable) receives premarket approval

1990: Americans with Disabilities Act signed into law

1990s: Amantidine is used to treat fatigue

1993: Betaseron® approved; Neurontin® approved to treat pain

1995: Copaxone® approved

1996: Avonex® approved

1998: Provigil® approved to treat fatigue; Viagra® approved to treat sexual dysfunction

2000: Novantrone® approved

2002: Rebif® approved; Zanaflex® approved to treat spasticity in MS

2006: Tysabri® approved

2010: Extavia® approved; Gilenya™ approved; Botox® injection approved for adult upper-limb spasticity; Nuedexta™ approved for the treatment of pseudobulbar affect (PBA); Ampyra™ approved to improve walking in individuals with MS

2011: Botox® injection approved for urinary incontinence in individuals with MS

2012: Aubagio® approved

THE FUTURE: Possible approvals of Dimethyl Fumarate (DMF); Lemtrada™; ocrelizumab; daclizumab; Tovaxin®; laquinimod; and many more!