Tabes dorsalis, as its name would imply, is a disease characterized by a degeneration of the posterior columns of the spinal cord. Spiller,1 however, as far back as 1897, defined tabes in reality as a cerebrospinal disease, and indeed, certain symptoms referable to the cranial nerves may so dominate the clinical picture that the cord symptoms may be insignificant or even pass unnoticed. Prominent among these symptoms are those which are referable to the eye. Primary optic atrophy is especially frequent.
Recently, E. Frey,2 from Schaffer's clinic, has studied 286 cases of incipient tabes, classifying these as oculo-pupillary, dysuric, lancinating and mixed forms, and studying sixty of them also from the standpoint of prognosis.
The session3 of the Society of Neurology in Paris, Dec. 30, 1911, was devoted to a discussion of the symptomatic limitation of this affection ("Délimitation du tabes"), and the prominence of the men who took
SCHALLER WF. EARLY DIAGNOSIS OF TABES DORSALIS. JAMA. 1917;LXVIII(3):190-194. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.04270010190012