Neurosyphilis, Brain Damage Due to Syphilis

Neurosyphilis is an infection of the brain or spinal cord that occurs in people who have untreated syphilis but over the years.

Neurosyphilis is caused by Treponema pallidum, the bacterium that causes syphilis. Neurosyphilis usually occurs around 10-20 years after a person is first infected with syphilis. Not everyone who has syphilis will develop this complication.

There are five different forms of neurosyphilis:
1. Asymptomatic (most common form), meaning no symptoms. Considered asymptomatic if
- It has been recovered from the disease and no longer have symptoms
- Having a disease but have no symptoms.

2. General paresis, impaired mental function caused by brain damage. Occurs between 30-30 years after getting syphilis. Patients may experience changes in personality or mood.

3. Meningeal neurosyphilis. Occurred between the first few weeks until the first few years after suffering from syphilis. Sufferers experience headaches, stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting. Sometimes also experience loss of vision or hearing.

4. Meningovascular, causing the same symptoms as syphilis meningeal but affected individuals also had a stroke. This form of neurosyphilis can occur within the first few months to several years after infection.

5. Tabes dorsalis, complications of untreated syphilis that involves muscle weakness and abnormal sensations (numbness and tingling).Characterized by pain in the legs or abdomen, the failure of muscle coordination, and bladder disorders.

Other signs include loss of vision, loss of reflexes and loss of sense of vibration, poor gait and balance disorders. Tabes dorsalis can occur 5-50 years after initial syphilis infection.

Symptom :
1. Abnormal gait
2. Blindness
3. Confusion
4. Dementia
5. Depression
6. Headache
7. Inability to walk
8. Irritable
9. Numbness in toes, feet, or legs
10. Difficult concentration
11. Convulsions
12. Stiff neck
13. Vision Impaired
14. Feeling weak

Blood tests can be done to detect substances produced by bacteria that causes syphilis.

Penicillin used to treat neurosyphilis. Drugs can be administered in various ways.
1. Injected into a vein several times a day for 10-14 days.
2. Using probenecid (a medicine used to treat gout) by mouth 4 times a day, combined with muscle injections every day - good for 10-14 days.

Sources: Medline Plus


sai krupa said...

Thanks for the post which is very essential to know regarding the Syphilis along with its treatment, It's good....

Anonymous said...

I was diagnosed with syphilis due to my husband's iinfidelity, we both got antibiotics. He got better i didn't. I had to get penicillin shots for 3 weeks. Its been several months hes feeli 100%. I have severe pains in my bones . My memory is very bad. Also my vision is worse. Could it be all in my mind? I recently dtarted seeing a chiropractor, i cant take the pain. Wht should i do lymphnodes have also been swollen for 10 months has gone xown not completely gone,dr says tskes a while.

Anonymous said...

Any comments good or bad im up for advice/ suggestions. .confused embarrassed ,and lost in my own word. Ive never discussed it with anyone due to my humiliation. Im still with him, he swore it was the bigges ,mistake in his life. I forgave him ,but its always on my mind....wht should i do???

Anonymous said...

Hello, Anonymous. Your feeling may not be in your mind at all. Syphilis could have developed into neurosyphilis if it was not adequately treated. The doctor said that the first treatment had not worked in every 6th patient and the disease turned into neurosyphilis..... Well, everybody responds to the treatmet differently. My case was not the lucky one too. Do you go for regular blood tests after the first treatment? If you feel that your memory and vision is worse, go to your neurologist--hurry up!. I can share my personal case if you give me your anonymous email address. I do not want to post my experience on the web. I was diagnosed syphilis too, and received the first treatment. Then I took regular blood tests to see if the titers of antibody levels decreased. They didn't..... Syphylis developed into neurosyphilis, because the first treatment did not work well at all. It is a serious disease and it should be followed up for several years even after treatment. And yes.... it is the biggest mistake in my life too to get it. Hopefully, I did not scare you too much, but it is a nasty disease. I am looking for your feedback and hope that you get better soon, but it is a long-lasting fight, believe me.....

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