[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
October 1938


Author Affiliations


From the Neurological Unit, the Boston City Hospital, and the Department of Neurology, Harvard University Medical School.

Arch NeurPsych. 1938;40(4):806-813. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1938.02270100178013

The first pathologic specimen in a case of multiple sclerosis was described and illustrated by Sir Robert Carswell, professor of pathologic anatomy at the University College, London, in an atlas published serially up to 1838.1 According to Bourneville and Guérard,2 the illustrations for the atlas were drawn in Paris, but this is not apparent from the book itself. They are signed by Carswell himself as artist; some are annotated as being drawn directly on the lithographic stone. The earlier plates, among them the one on multiple sclerosis, are marked as being printed by "lithographers to the King," and the later ones, by "lithographers to the Queen"—that is, presumably subsequent to June 1837. It is likely, therefore, that the fascicle containing the description of multiple sclerosis was prepared in England and published in 1836 or 1837. Carswell's illustration (fig. 1) is unmistakable, and his description is concise.