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March 26, 1910


JAMA. 1910;LIV(13):1064. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.02550390046007

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Now that it is practically admitted that the Wassermann reaction is, when positive, an incontestable evidence of active syphilis somewhere in the system, and that it has been found by recent observers to be practically constant in paresis and in a large proportion of cases of tabes, the old notion that these disorders are parasyphilitic, or not syphilitic at all in many cases, will apparently have to be given up. The fact that many writers, and, indeed, most text-book authors on insanity, have pointed out diagnostic symptoms of alleged value in distinguishing syphilitic insanity resembling paresis from paresis is of interest as showing a considerable waste of labor on their part. Undoubtedly a desire to avoid recognition of the specific etiology of paresis accounts for much of this. As the case stands at present, it appears that most, if not all, the objections to the syphilitic nature of paresis will

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