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J Neurol Sci. 2017 Aug 15;379:99-102. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2017.05.044. Epub 2017 May 23.

Devic's disease before Devic: On the contribution of Friedrich Albin Schanz (1863-1923).

Author information

1
Molecular Neuroimmunology Group, Department of Neurology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address: sven.jarius@med.uni-heidelberg.de.
2
Molecular Neuroimmunology Group, Department of Neurology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

Abstract

Neuromyelitis optica (NMO, Devic's disease) is an autoimmune disorder of the CNS that mainly affects the optic nerves and spinal cord and, if not treated, can leave patients blind and wheelchair-bound. NMO was long considered a clinical variant of multiple sclerosis (MS). While the history of MS has been studied extensively, relatively little is known about the early history of NMO. A dissertation written by Fernand Gault (1873-1936), a doctoral student to Eugène Devic (1858-1930), a Lyon-based neurologist after whom the disease would later be named, is considered by many the first review of NMO. We would like to draw attention to a forgotten earlier review by the German oculist Friedrich Albin Schanz (1863-1923)-still known to ophthalmologists as one of the inventors of the corneal microscope ("slit lamp")-on which Devic and Gault's work was based and which points to most of the clinical and pathological features nowadays considered characteristic for NMO. The discovery of aquaporin-4 antibodies (NMO-IgG) has revived the interest in NMO, which is now extensively studied as a prototypic autoimmune condition. We believe it is now time to do justice to those who were seminal in describing this rare yet intriguing disease.

KEYWORDS:

Devic's disease; Eugène Devic; Fernand Gault; Friedrich Schanz; History of neurology; Neuromyelitis optica

PMID:
28716289
DOI:
10.1016/j.jns.2017.05.044
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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