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.
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.
1. Abnormal gait
7. Inability to walk
9. Numbness in toes, feet, or legs
10. Difficult concentration
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.
probenecid (a medicine used to treat gout) by mouth 4 times a day,
combined with muscle injections every day - good for 10-14 days.