The case of the saltimbanque Prosper Lecomte. A contribution to the study of the history of progressive muscular atrophy (Aran-Duchenne) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Charcot)

Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 1975;78(3):204-9. doi: 10.1016/s0303-8467(75)80050-3.


The historical value of the case history of Prosper Lecomte, a French circus owner who died in 1853, is brought again to attention. He appears to be the first patient in the historical literature by whom the diagnosis amyotrophic lateral sclerosis can be established with sufficient certainty.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Case Reports
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / diagnosis
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / history*
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / physiopathology
  • France
  • History, 19th Century
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscular Atrophy / diagnosis
  • Muscular Atrophy / history*
  • Syndrome

Personal name as subject

  • P Lecomte