Locomotor Ataxia is the most frequent affection of the spinal cord. The preataxic stage, although easily recognized, is easily overlooked as the result of a hasty diagnosis. During this stage the disease is curable if appropriate treatment is instituted, otherwise the patient gradually drifts into the second or ataxic stage, when the derangement of the nervous system is so manifest that a mistake in the diagnosis is then hardly possible, for he falls into the hands of a specialist in diseases of the nervous system, only to be told that he is beyond the possibility of a cure.
The elements that enter into the diagnosis of the praetaxic stage, therefore, are of momentous importance, and are: first, sensory disturbances, as lightning pains; second, disturbances in patellar-tendon reflex; third, disturbances in pupillary reflex; fourth, disturbances in vesical reflex; fifth, disturbances in sexual condition; sixth, disturbances in gastric functions; seventh, disturbances in
BROWER DR. LOCOMOTOR ATAXIA; ITS DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT IN THE PREATAXIC STAGE.. JAMA. 1885;IV(14):373-374. doi:10.1001/jama.1885.02390890009002a