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May 12, 1917


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1917;LXVIII(19):1389-1391. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.04270050091003

Tabes dorsalis, unfortunately often spoken of as locomotor ataxia, has received in comparatively recent times a vast amount of attention at the hands of the medical profession. Owing to the frequency with which it occurs, tabes takes the first place among spinal cord diseases. With the advent of laboratory methods, more or less specific as indexes of syphilitic conditions, interest was renewed in the study of this disease entity, and I feel that it may be safely stated that it is now held that syphilis plays the all important rôle as the true etiologic factor in the production of this disorder. Although Esmarch and Jessen as early as 1857 discussed the relationship between syphilis and paresis (and we have every reason to believe today that the cerebral manifestations of paresis and the cord manifestations of tabes are one and the same as far as etiology is concerned), it was not

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