Within recent years it has been gradually established that syphilis in the early stages may cause marked lesions of the central nervous system, but it has been more slowly realized that it may also produce definite involvement of the central nervous system without necessarily causing any symptoms.
Since 1903, when a series of papers by Ravaut1 appeared, muchinterest has been shown in the study of this phase of the disease. Ravaut examined the cerebrospinal fluid of 100 cases of early secondary syphilis, and found pleocytosis and other pathologic changes in many. In fact, only twenty-eight could be said to be normal. Other similar observations made on small series of cases were reported by Boas and Lind,2 Zaloziecki and Frühwald,3 and Bergl and Klausner.4
In 1913, Altmann and Dreyfus5 published the results of the examination of the cerebrospinal fluid in 170 cases, which included all stages
FILDES P, PARNELL RJG, MAITLAND HB. UNSUSPECTED INVOLVEMENT OF THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM IN SYPHILIS: A STUDY OF SIX HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FOUR UNSELECTED CASES. Arch NeurPsych. 1919;1(2):231–245. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1919.02180020098007
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.