After St. Lidwina the next historical description of MS appeared in 19th century; a personal account of the illness by Sir Augustus d’Esté
, the illegitimate grandson of George III of England.
D’Esté documented the course of his 26-year illness in a diary.
The picture shows two excerpts from the diary an entry from the start of the diary, in 1822, and one of the last entries from January 1848. It is interesting to note the marked decline in the legibility of his handwriting between the two entries; I suspect he had involvement of the cerebellum that caused incoordination in his upper limbs and by the time the second entry was made he had secondary progressive MS.
D’Esté symptoms began after a bout of measles; his entries mention visual problems, fatigue and altered sensations. The disease became progressive with time; an entry 5 years before his death documented unsteadiness of gait, numbness below the waist and leg spasms at night. When d’Esté died in 1848 he was paralysed in both arms and had secondary progressive MS.
"A sobering account of how disabling MS was and remains today."