Then, in 1868, Jean-Martin Charcot, a professor of neurology at the University of Paris, who has been called "the father of neurology", carefully examined a young woman with a tremor of a sort he had never seen before. He noted her other neurological problems including slurred speech and abnormal eye movements, and compared them to those of other patients he had seen. When she died, he examined her brain and found the characteristic scars or "plaques" of MS.
Dr. Charcot wrote a complete description of the disease and the changes in the brain which accompany it. However, he was baffled by its cause and frustrated by its resistance to all of his treatments. They included electrical stimulation and strychnine-because this poison is a nerve stimulant. He also tried injections of gold and silver, as they were somewhat helpful in the other major nerve disorder common at that time-syphilis.