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Neurosyphilis refers to the infection of the brain and spinal cord by
syphilis bacteria. This can lead to destruction in
many areas of the
nervous system, causing loss of function of a person's
arms or legs, loss of vision, and altered mental abilities. Neurosyphilis can
affect many different body systems and may develop over an extended period of
time. Symptoms of neurosyphilis usually include:
Other symptoms may include:
Most forms of neurosyphilis take years to develop and can be
life-threatening. It is most common in people 30 to 50 years old.1 People who are also infected with human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV) tend to develop signs of
Antibiotic treatment cures the syphilis infection and
stops the progress of neurosyphilis. But the damage that has already occurred
may not be reversed.
Augenbraun M (2006). Syphilis and the nonvenereal
treponematoses. In DC Dale, DD Federman, eds., ACP Medicine, section 7, chap. 6. New York: WebMD.
September 29, 2011
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Devika Singh, MD, MPH - Infectious Disease
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