Ankylosing spondylitis historical perspective
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Ankylosing spondylitis was first recognized as a disease by Galen. However, in the late nineteenth century, three physicians (Vladimir Bekhterev, Adolph Strümpell, and Pierre Marie) were the first people to give adequate descriptions of the disease. Their work allowed for an adequate description of AS before it turned into a severe spinal deformity. For this reason, AS is also known as Bechterew Disease or Marie–Strümpel Disease.
AS was probably first recognized as a disease which was different from Rheumatoid arthritis by Galen as early as the second century AD; however, skeletal evidence of the disease (ossification of joints and entheses primarily of the axial skeleton, known as "bamboo spine") were first discovered in an archaeological dig that unearthed the skeletal remains of a 5000 year–old Egyptian mummy with evidence of "bamboo spine".
The anatomist and surgeon Realdo Colombo described what could have been the disease in 1559, and the first account of pathologic changes to the skeleton possibly associated with AS was published in 1691 by Bernard Connor. In 1818, Benjamin Collins Brodie became the first physician to document that iritis accompanied what is believed to have been a patient with active AS.
In 1833 Trask fell from a horse, exacerbating the condition and resulting in severe deformity. Tucker reported that
|“||It was not until he [Trask] had exercised for some time that he could perform any labor [..., and that] his neck and back have continued to curve drawing his head downward on his breast.||”|
It was not until the late nineteenth century (1893-1898), however, when the neurophysiologist Vladimir Bekhterev of Russia in 1893, Adolph Strümpell of Germany in 1897, and Pierre Marie of France in 1898, were the first to give adequate descriptions which permitted an accurate diagnosis of AS prior to severe spinal deformity. For this reason, AS is also known as Bechterew Disease or Marie–Strümpel Disease.
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- "Life and sufferings of Leonard Trask".
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