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January 20, 1917


JAMA. 1917;LXVIII(3):194-198. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.04270010194013

The first clear presentation of the clinical relationship of the mental and physical symptoms in paresis was made by Bayle in 1822, although the earliest description of this disease was given toward the close of the eighteenth century by Chiarugi and Haslam.1 Almost forty years ago, Fournier startled and antagonized the medical world by suggesting that syphilis in the great majority of cases was the cause of locomotor ataxia. This has been a subject of bitter discussion for more than a third of a century; in fact it was Metchnikoff's infection of apes with syphilis in 1903 that robbed syphilis of its mystery, and gave it a definite standing among infectious diseases. This was the first definite step in the elucidation of our present knowledge of the pathology and symptomatology of nervous syphilis. Then came notable years. Schaudinn in 1905 discovered the Spirochaeta pallida. In 1906, Wassermann announced his reaction,

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