One of Charcot's greatest legacies as a clinician was his contribution to the development of systematic neurological examination, correlating a set of clinical signs with specific lesions as seen macroscopically (seen by eye) and microscopically (seen with a microscope) following autopsies (dissection after death).
Whilst damage to the brain caused by MS was recorded earlier by Robert Carswell in 1838 and Jean Cruveilhier in 1841, it was Jean-Martin Charcot that drew together the knowledge about the then unamed condition and in 1868 described the distinct characteristics of the condition named "sclerose en plaques".
He described MS lesions in detail and reported on inflammation and the loss of the covering (myelin) of the nerves and the proliferation of glial fibres and nuclei at these sites. He attributed symptoms to impaired conduction in the central nervous system, though with periods of remission, and identified the symptoms of MS and his work is considered the beginnings of the study of the condition.History of MS (1): Russell Brains
History of MS (2): St. Lidwina of Schiedam
History of MS (3): Sir August d'Esté
History of MS (4): Robert Carswell
History of MS (5): Jean Cruveilhier
History of MS (6): Friedrich von Frerichs