The symptom-complex called Friedreich's ataxia was first described by Friedreich of Heidelberg, in 1863. The author at that time, guided only by clinical criteria, supposed the condition to be a juvenile form of tabes dorsalis, being led to this conclusion chiefly by the ataxia and the loss of the knee jerks. However, he emphasized its congenital origin, and recognized the characteristic fact that it showed a remarkable tendency to appear in families. The disease was further studied in 1877 by Schultze who, by means of pathologic examination, recognized the true character of the disease and its essential dissimilarity from tabes dorsalis—that it was a disease entity sui generis, with no pathologic relationship to locomotor ataxia. He it was who placed the disease on an independent foundation. His article published in 1877 contains a most satisfactory pathologic description of the gross and microscopic appearances found in the central nervous system of
ROMBOLD CR, RILEY HA. THE ABORTIVE TYPE OF FRIEDREICH'S DISEASE. Arch NeurPsych. 1926;16(3):301–312. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1926.02200270040003
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