Neurosyphilis

Definition of Neurosyphilis

Neurosyphilis is an infection of the brain or spinal cord. It usually occurs in persons who have had untreated syphilis for many years.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Neurosyphilis is caused by , the bacteria that cause syphilis. It usually occurs about 10 – 20 years after a person is first infected with syphilis. Not everyone who has syphilis will develop this complication.

Signs and tests

Signs include:

Treatment

Penicillin is used to treat neurosyphilis. The medicine may be given in various ways.

Expectations (prognosis)

This is considered a life-threatening complication of syphilis. How well you do depends on how severe the neurosyphilis is before treatment.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 9/15/2010

Central nervous system

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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